How we help

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We offer bereavement support for anyone, regardless of who has died or how long it has been since they died.

When to ask for bereavement support

Grief is a natural reaction when someone we love dies. It isn't something that we can make go away, nor should we try to. We recommend that after someone dies, you allow time for the natural grieving process to take place. We recommend that you wait until the funeral has taken place, and perhaps even a few weeks or months after that before you contact us so that you allow yourself time to understand your grief. However, here is no 'normal' timeframe or schedule when it comes to grief. Some people may feel that they need support earlier than others, and we won't turn you away when you contact us.

How our bereavement support works

Our bereavement support sessions usually take place in person in one the therapy rooms in our office on the outskirts of Douglas. We can also offer telephone support, although not all of our bereavement volunteers are able to offer support by telephone so the waiting time may be longer for people who would like support by phone. There's no limit to the number of sessions you have, but there are usually between one and six sessions, although some people may need more.

The bereavement volunteer is there to listen and to help you explore your grief. You can talk about the person who died, how their death is affecting you, and how you are coping. Using counselling skills, your supporter will help you to understand what you are going through and develop coping strategies. We are here to help you find your personal way through grief.

Our two therapy rooms - one with a green wall, blue chairs and white tables, and one with a pale purple wall, beige chairs and wooden tables.

Our bereavement volunteers

Our bereavement volunteers are drawn from different backgrounds and undergo special training in the process of grieving and working with bereaved people. All of our bereavement volunteers are trained in counselling skills and how to use these to support someone who is grieving. Some are also fully trained counsellors but this is not a requirement for our volunteers.

Out adult support service

Our adult support service is self-referral only.  Even if you are trying to help by referring someone else, it's important that the individual wants support and feels it is the right time for them. Referring themselves is an important part of this process. That's why we don't take referrals from other people. We aren't able to offer immediate support, but once you contact us, we'll add your details to our waiting list and then contact you to arrange an appointment when one of our bereavement volunteers becomes available. Our usual waiting time is about four weeks, although it can vary depending on how many referrals we receive and how many of our volunteers are able to take new clients.

Make an adult self-referral

Our children and young people support service

For children and young people under the age of 18, we can accept referrals from parents, carers, professionals, or self-referrals. Once we receive the referral, someone from our children & young people's team will contact the referrer or their family as soon as possible to discuss setting up support. This initial contact will usually take place within a week, but support sessions may not begin for a week or two.

Make a children or young person referral

What we ask from you

We will make ourselves available to you so you can prioritise your grief and will try to arrange an appointment for you as soon as possible. We will try to fit in around you so if you are offered an appointment, please make yourself available. We feel you have reached out to us for a reason and are here to offer support but you need to make the time.

Every effort will be made to ensure you get the support when you have indicated you are free but if on three occasions you are not available, we will need to move you to the end of the waiting list. Due to the high volume of clients needing our support, following three attempts to meet you, it will be necessary to move you to the bottom of the waiting list if you do not turn up. 

While all our services are delivered without charge it costs Cruse approximately £600 per client to offer our bereavement support.


If you need to speak to someone immediately, you should contact the Samaritans on 116123 (this number is free to call).


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