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06 August 2021

Understanding grief & loss
Bank Workers Charity webinar

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Understanding grief & loss

We hosted an online event with the Bank Workers Charity on 6th August 2021 looking at grief and loss, and the way it affects people.

We asked Paul Barrett, Head of Wellbeing at the Bank Workers Charityto come and talk to our members about:

Paul began the session by defining grief and bereavement before looking at some of the common reactions we may have:

“We often think of grief as a psychological experience, but actually there are lots and lots of physical reactions that are commonly associated with grief.”

Many of us may have heard or be aware of the Kübler-Ross grief cycle which was developed in 1969 and set out 5 stages: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Until more recently this was the dominant way in which everybody considered to be the way in which we experience grief. But more recent research has shown that there's no evidence for this - and it's potentially damaging for people to think about their loss in this way, because what if you don't see yourself moving from one stage to the next?

That's why it's really important to talk about grief and loss, and to understand how this may present for someone. Not everyone will experience grief in the same way, and there may be physical as well as psychological responses that we experience. That's why we teamed up with the Bank Workers Charity for a wellbeing webinar focussing on this important topic.

You can access the recording below, along with links to download the slides and a link to our feedback survey.

Recording of webinar

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Tips for supporting the bereaved

The good news is, there are some steps we can take to better understand, recognise, and support colleagues that may be experiencing grief in the workplace:

The most & least helpful things to say & do

In May 2018, the Co-Operative Funeralcare commissioned the first national survey of its kind into death, dying and bereavement. The information included here are the findings from the survey Making peace with death.

Most helpful during a bereavement

Least helpful during a bereavement

Asking how they are doing today

Avoiding the subject

Asking if you can do anything

Equating their grief with your own

Having friends and family on hand

Avoiding them

Asking if they want to talk about their loved one

Being told to cheer up

Giving them time off work

Being treated differently

Other support

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