December Health Chat- Grief and Bereavement at Christmas

This month’s Health Chat sees us thinking about National Grief Awareness Week. We know that this time of year can be difficult for many of us. We wanted to share resources on the topic of bereavement, grief and wellbeing.  There are so many online sources of support to signpost to, so we joined forces with Warwickshire Libraries to explore some of them in this blog post and in our monthly Twitter #HealthChat. Find us on Twitter at @GEHSWFTLibrary and @WarksLibraries

National Grief Awareness Week runs from 2-8th December 2022, so we’ll start with the Good Grief Trust, a charity raising awareness and understanding of the impact of grief. There’s a wealth of practical information on how to help the bereaved and where people living with grief can find support. It can help to listen to others talking about grief and what helped them, so don’t miss the collection of films available on their website. The Good Grief Trust also has information available in many languages for a variety of different situations, such as for the newly bereaved and those who have lost a parent, partner, sibling, child, or friend.

Did you know that Marie Curie UK also offer a bereavement service for those who have lost someone to an illness? Their national telephone support service is free to access. There’s also useful advice on their web pages on coping with bereavement in the workplace– both for those experiencing grief and for managers.

Cruse Bereavement Support have a helpline and chat option if you need to talk to someone, or perhaps prefer to talk to someone other than friends or family. They offer support no matter how long you’ve been grieving

It can be difficult to think about your physical health as well as your mental wellbeing when you are experiencing bereavement and grief. For ideas and advice about staying active indoors and out, visit

Or as the Good Grief Trust suggest, why not arrange a walk with a friend or family member? It’s sometimes easier to talk about your feeling, loved ones and listen when you are side by side, and exercise can help you to cope.

Warwickshire Libraries have a bereavement and grief reading collection aimed at adults and another collection for children. You can find both on the Health and Wellbeing page For our colleagues at George Eliot and SWFT, we also have some of those titles at our libraries. There’s a list of what’s available for our NHS colleagues to borrow from our 2 Trust libraries and more available at our other regional Health Libraries

Christmas can be a difficult time for many reasons in addition to bereavement. We’ve collected some online resources together which may help.

The charity Cruse Bereavement Support suggests ways to manage grief during Christmas at It also has tops of how to support others living with grief.

Sue Ryder charity have advice written by a bereavement counsellor on how to prepare for Christmas & make things easier on yourself – from honest conversations to lovely ways to remember loved ones. There’s an online bereavement community too, if you’d benefit from chatting to other people during the festive period.

Heads Together offer tips on looking after your mental health at Christmas including coping with bereavement, loneliness and social anxiety.

Mind explain how Christmas can affect our mental health, and offer some useful tips to help cope. You can also find urgent support routes on their web pages.

There’s lots of local support available to you in Warwickshire, both to cope with bereavement and also to help during the winter.

The Winter Wellness guide for 2022/23 from Warwickshire County Council has all sorts of useful information, from staying warm, advice about the cost of living crisis and food support, to tips on mental and physical health and wellbeing. Well worth a look!

Contact your local branch of Cruse Bereavement Support to find out what’s available locally. Or enter your postcode into the Good Grief Trust map to find support local to you. There’s quite a few listed in Warwickshire.

And of course don’t forget that you’re always sure of a warm welcome at your local public library and for NHS colleagues at your Trust libraries. We have a range of wellbeing activities and resources available, just pop in!

Warm Welcome Scheme. Warwickshire Libraries welcome everyone to the library. You might want to visit and browse the books, or play a board game. Some libraries also have coffee mornings if you fancy a hot drink and a chat. Find Warm Welcome locations here.

Find out what’s happening in your local library– from Scrabble clubs, creative events, reading groups and coffee morning, there’s something for everyone.

We hope this will have given you some ideas to help cope with the challenges of Christmas. Our best wishes for Christmas to all our library colleagues and users. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year and please feel free to join in with our next #HealthChat Getting back on Track on Monday 9th January.