Urgent help
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When someone close to you has died

Most people will experience bereavement at some point in their lives. The death of someone important to us can be one of the most difficult and painful events that we experience in life.

Experiencing grief

Grief affects everyone differently, but many people may find that they experience a mixture of:

  • Shock and disbelief
  • Numbness
  • Guilt
  • Despair, depression and intense sadness
  • Fear, anxiety and worry about how life will be now
  • Relief  (particularly after a long illness)
  • Anger

Our  reactions to the loss of a loved one particularly in the first few days and weeks following the loss are likely to be overwhelming and intense, but usually over time these feelings become less intense and less overwhelming, allowing us to begin thinking about our own lives again.

Recovering from grief

Sometimes, as we start to gradually recover from our grief, we can begin to feel guilty about feeling better; it can make us feel that we are forgetting about our loved one or that we shouldn’t be happy or moving on. These are common feelings in the process of bereavement and it’s important that we do not feel guilty, allowing ourselves to enjoy things in our lives again.

As grieving is such a unique and individual experience, it’s not possible to say when it should ‘end’. Sometimes it may feel like your emotions are going round in circles, feeling ‘ok’ one day, then sad and angry the next.

Getting More Help

If you are finding day-to-day activities are becoming more difficult to cope with, or if you or your family feel that extra support is needed to help you move on, talking to family and friends about your worries can help you feel more supported. You might want to talk to someone outside the family like a GP, teacher or mentor at school, or even a friend’s parent. Choose someone you trust and if you find it difficult to talk about how you are feeling, you could write them a letter or send them a text. Support is also available through Childline, Compass Phoenix and Recovery College Online.


Childline provides a free and confidential telephone service for children and young people up to the age of 19.

Visit Childline website Call 0800 1111


Compass Phoenix offers a confidential text messaging service, called BUZZ US, to young people aged 11-18 across North Yorkshire.

Visit Compass Phoenix website Call 07520 631168

Recovery College Online

The Recovery College Online provides a range of online educational courses and resources to people with mental illness.

Visit Recovery College Online website

Getting Urgent Help

If you’ve seriously injured yourself or taken an overdose call 999 or get immediate medical advice from NHS 111.

If you are in a crisis and feel like you can’t cope, speak to somebody straight away. Search below for help or see the Urgent Help page for contact details for the North Yorkshire single point of access Crisis Service.

Things you might find useful


Includes a phoneline you can call for help and support.

Visit CBUK website

Winston's Wish

A charity for bereaved children with a freephone helpline.

Visit Winston's Wish website

Elliot's Footprint

A charity that helps families through child bereavement.

Visit Elliot's Footprint website

St Gemma's Young People's Service

Provides information and support for children and young people when someone in their family is seriously ill or has died.

Visit St Gemma's Hospice website

Just 'B' Bereavement Support

Offers support to children, young people and adults living in the Harrogate District, who have been bereaved.

Visit Just B website

Herriot Hospice Homecare

Offers a bereavement service to children, young people and adults living in the Hambleton and Richmondshire District

Visit Herriot Hospice Homecare website

Young Minds

Advice for coping with grief and loss.

Visit Young Minds website

The Cruse Bereavement Care Freephone National Helpline is staffed by trained bereavement volunteers, who offer emotional support to anyone affected by bereavement.

Visit Cruse Bereavement website Call 0808 808 1677

Grief and Loss Support Service, Harrogate

The Grief and Loss Support Service from West Yorkshire and Harrogate Health and Care Partnership offers free help and advice for those experiencing grief and loss.

Download poster Call 0808 196 3833


Sudden support children and adults bereaved by sudden death.

Visit Sudden website Call 0800 121 6510

When someone significant in a child’s life dies, we find ourselves wanting to help but often don’t know how. This elearning module is to help you bridge that gap and help you to help a child.  

Loss and Bereavement elearning

Toolkit for supporting Children, Young People and Families Affected or Bereaved by Suicide

This toolkit offers a range of support, guidance and information for those affected or bereaved by suicide and was co-produced with children and young people with lived experience.


View the toolkit

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