Grief and Bereavement

“Grief is the last act of love we can give to those we loved. Where there is deep grief, there was great love.”- Anonymous

When a cherished member in the community passes away, family, friends, and the wider community will no doubt experience a period of grief. Grief is a fundamental experience of being a human being; however, the universal nature of grief makes it no less easy to bear. If you or someone you love has been affected by grief, we encourage you to reach out, support, and love each other as we move through this difficult time together.

The grieving process is normal, and often those who are bereaved report that they find the greatest comfort in being supported by friends and family members. If you are looking for more information on how to support your loved ones during this time, or if you feel someone you love may need professional support, we hope that the resources and organisations listed on this page are helpful and useful.

Click each button to download the Resource.

When Should I Seek Professional Help for My Child or Myself?

Grieving is a normal and healthy process, and it takes time. No two people grieve in the exact same way; however, it can be helpful to recognise if the symptoms you or a loved one are experiencing are uncommon, and if additional support might be needed to help you or your loved one cope during this time. There is no time limit on grief; however, in general, if the following symptoms last more than six months, it may be time to seek help.

  • Nightmares
  • A belief that the world is unsafe and dangerous
  • Irritability, anger, moodiness
  • Poor concentration
  • Changes in appetite
  • Sleep disturbances or difficulty sleeping
  • Acting out, and behavioural problems that were not present before
  • Regression to earlier behaviours such as bedwetting, clinginess, thumb-sucking
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Risk taking behaviours in adolescents (drug/alcohol use, dangerous driving)
  • School refusal
  • Anxiety
  • Depressed mood

If you or your loved one experiences suicidal thoughts or feelings, or a wish to die, help should be sought immediately. You should arrange an appointment with the family GP immediately to discuss additional support options, including seeing a psychologist. 
You can also contact Lifeline, a confidential phone helpline operating 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, on 13 11 14. The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service’s Urgent Mental Health Support Line can also be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days per week on 1800 048 636. 

Bereavement and Wellbeing Support Services

Lifeline WA
Lifeline WA currently offers free bereavement counselling. Please contact Lifeline WA directly to explore this service.
www.lifelinewa.org.au/Services/Bereavement-counselling

Kids Helpline
This service is not bereavement-specific, however can offer general mental health and wellbeing support for young people aged 5-25 years of age. They have a 24 hours, 7 days a week helpline, as well as email support services, webchat, and information on their website.
1800 55 1800
www.kidshelpline.com.au

Beyond Blue
Beyond Blue runs a 24 hour, 7 days per week helpline for those experiencing mental health concerns, particularly depression, anxiety, and suicide. Beyond Blue also has email support and webchat options available, and a wealth of information on their website
1300 224 636
www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/grief-and-loss

ReachOut
A student-friendly website with information on a wide variety of mental health and wellbeing issues.
au.reachout.com/tough-times/grief-and-loss