What is Bereavement Counselling and how can it assist you?

Bereavement counselling is a confidential discussion with a specially trained professional who can support you to explore the impact of your loss and identify strategies for coping as well as possible.

Bereavement Counselling can assist you to:

  • identify, understand and express your feelings
  • access your own resources and ways of coping
  • access information about the grieving process and what you may expect
  • have an opportunity to talk about the deceased person
  • understand your grief and its impact
  • adjust to a new life in the absence of the deceased person
  • discuss concerns with a sensitive, non-judgement professional

You can expect that your counsellor:

  • will listen and learn about your experience of grief
  • will support you to respond to your grief in your own way
  • will provide information and help you develop strategies that might be helpful
  • won’t tell you how you should or shouldn’t think or feel
  • won’t need to be protected from your pain and tears

When can Bereavement Counselling help?

Bereavement counselling may be useful if:

  • Things feel like they are getting worse over time
  • Your grief is having a negative impact on your relationships with others
  • You are wondering how best to support your children, partner, parent or other family members
  • You feel like there is no-one else you can talk to about what you are going through or you are unable to speak about your loved one with others
  • You feel stuck in one feeling (e.g. anger or guilt) for a long period
  • You have persistent, distressing memories about the events surrounding your loved one’s death
  • There are questions or challenges you wish to talk through with someone impartial

Who can use the service?

Family and friends of someone who died and was known to a palliative care service (HammondCare or another service) and who live in the Northern Sydney Local Health District or the South West Sydney Local Health District. A free, confidential Health Care Interpreter Service is available. Ask staff to arrange an interpreter for you. AUSLAN interpreters are also available.

How much does it cost?

Our bereavement counselling service is FREE.

How can I access this service?

The service can be accessed face to face and over the phone.

To make an enquiry or to arrange an appointment, please feel welcome to contact us Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm, at the location most convenient to you:

Braeside Hospital, Prairiewood: 9756 8878

Greenwich Hospital, Greenwich: 9903 8333

Neringah Hospital, Wahroonga: 9488 2200

Northern Beaches Palliative Care Service, Mona Vale: 9998 3600

For more information about services in Northern Sydney Local Health District click here.

For more information about services in other areas of NSW click here.

How many counselling sessions should I have?

Some people attend for a single session; some attend regular weekly, fortnightly or monthly appointments; and others check in as and when they need to. There are no rules about how often you should attend counselling. You and your counsellor will discuss what arrangements may be most helpful.

Bereavement Counselling Resources:

Bereavement | Who to Notify Checklist Bereavement | Who to Notify Checklist (797 KB)

Bereavement | The first 12 months and beyond Bereavement | The first 12 months and beyond (916 KB)

Bereavement | Understanding Grief Bereavement | Understanding Grief (264 KB)

Bereavement | Children and Grief Bereavement | Children and Grief (319 KB)

Bereavement | Coping with Anniversaries Bereavement | Coping with Anniversaries (264 KB)

Bereavement | Practical matters Bereavement | Practical matters (275 KB)

Other Community Services you may find useful include:

Australian Centre for Grief & Bereavement

P 03 9265 2100 or Toll Free 1800 642 066

National Association for Loss & Grief

P 02 6882 9222

Solace (for widows & widowers)

P 02 9519 2820

National Centre for Childhood Grief (for bereaved children)

P 1300 654 556

Compassionate Friends (for bereaved parents)

P 02 9290 2355


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