In-person peer support
Our monthly bereavement social group is an in-person social group that runs on campus every first Tuesday of the month. It is open to students who have had a recent or historical bereavement that is affecting their wellbeing and possibly their studies. Our aim is to provide a safe space where you can meet others who have a shared bereavement experience, be yourself, feel accepted and comfortable in your grieving and not feel alone or judged. This is not group therapy, it is a safe space where you can choose to be quiet and listen or share how you have been doing. It is facilitated by Hannah (mental health and wellbeing project officer) and Pat (wellbeing advisor).
The charity Lets Talk About Loss runs meet ups across the UK (the nearest to Bath is currently Bristol) for young people aged 18-35 encouraging everyone to talk about grief.
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) runs a monthly in-person group in Bath for people bereaved by suicide. SoBS also has in-person groups across the country so if you are not in currently in Bath or you are graduating soon you may wish to explore their groups elsewhere in the UK.
Our Wellbeing and Therapeutic Interventions teams offer a range of 1:1 support whether you just want to talk something through with us as a one-off or you feel you need counselling to help you in your bereavement. To book an appointment or read more about this support, see our wellbeing webpage.
Online peer support
If you’re interested in connecting with other people affected by bereavement, The New Normal offer weekly and monthly peer-to-peer support groups (most of which are online). Their founders, Jack and Ben, both lost their dads to cancer and found strength, mutual support and friendship in this shared experience. They are passionate about creating safe spaces for anyone affected by grief, and their current meetings can be accessed for free from anywhere in the world. They also have groups such as Girl Talk (for anyone who identifies as a woman), Boys Talk (for anyone who identifies as a man), Black and Brown Good Grief, a young carers group, and Queer Good Grief.
The Student Grief Network (SGN) offers Bath students free access to their themed workshops on topics such as how grief affects friendships and balancing grief with student life. The SGN and their events are led by students and recent graduates who have all had first-hand experience of bereavement. Read about their founder Anna’s experience of grief as a student and take a look at their online events here on the SGN website. To access these workshops for free, from anywhere in the world, you will need to sign up with your Bath email address and enter the code UniOfBath22.
Bath University’s Chaplaincy offers support and care, space and prayer in the heart of the Campus. They are located down the step to the right of the library. The Chaplaincy is both a place and a team of people. They are here for all students of all faiths and no faith - to offer counsel, advice or just a listening ear. You can pop in any time. For more information about how the Chaplaincy can support you around your experience of bereavement, visit their webpage.
Websites and helplines
There are several national and local organisations that support children, adults and families affected by bereavement. Here are some of the websites and helplines we find helpful:
- Grief Encounter offers information and support to people of all ages and has a specific guide for young adults. They run a free helpline Grieftalk on weekdays from 9am to 9pm, via phone, live chat and email.
- Cruse Bereavement Support is a national charity that offers lots of information for understanding and managing your grief, as well as live chat and phone support every day (see their website for opening hours).
- Child Bereavement UK is a national UK charity supporting children, young people, parents, and families when a child is grieving or when a child dies. They have a range of range of resources for young people who have experienced a bereavement and they also offer support and guidance to parents and caregivers grieving for a baby or child.
- Child Bereavement UK has a useful page for when someone may have died by suicide, which offers guidance on what might help and finding the right words to say when someone has or may have died by suicide.
- Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide (SoBS) is a national organisation which exists to meet the needs and break the isolation of those bereaved by the suicide of a close relative or friend.
- if you are having thoughts of suicide or are concerned for a young person who might be, you can contact HOPELINEUK for confidential support and practical advice. This line is run by the suicide prevention charity Papyrus.
- you can also contact a Samaritan for 24/7 support over the phone or email, their self-help app or even letter.
There are many social media accounts dedicated to supporting people through bereavement, from sharing stories of pain, confusion and loss to remembering and celebrating the lives of loved ones. Below are a few we particularly like:
- Grief Kid (@griefkid) • Instagram photos and videos
- The Student Grief Network (@studentgriefnetwork) • Instagram photos and videos
- The New Normal Charity (@tnncharity) • Instagram photos and videos
If a recent or historical bereavement is affecting your wellbeing and/or studies, you may wish to let your personal tutor or head of department know so they are aware you are going through a difficult time and can discuss support with you, including any extensions or mitigating circumstances.
If you are a doctoral student affected by bereavement, you should talk to your supervisor or Director of Studies about any changes that might help you manage your engagement with your research.