Register a death

Getting help after a bereavement

Talking about death can feel uncomfortable, but being more open about it can be a good thing.

Everyone grieves in their own way, and in their own time, but having a good conversation with someone who has lost a loved one can make the world of difference.

If you know someone who is grieving there are resources that can help.


  • Acknowledge their grief
  • Take time to listen - attentively
  • Suggest a quiet place to sit together
  • Use the name of the person who has died
  • Share resources - leaflets and contacts
  • Remember everyone is different


  • Say you know how they feel. No two people are the same
  • Talk about your own experiences without listening to them first.
  • Use platitudes like ‘time is a great healer’
  • Rush the conversation
  • Promise what you cannot deliver
  • Forget that you need support too.

Adapted from Cruse 2014

General resources
Name Contact How they can help
Cruse Bereavement Care 0845 600 2227 (9.30am - 5pm, Mon - Fri)
[email protected]
Support sessions, face to face or telephone counselling from 6 months, online support. Drop in (last Thursday of the month 10.00 -12.00. St Davids Church Hall, Dalkeith).
Acorns Bereavement Support 0131 510 8393 Provides support programmes for bereaved people in Edinburgh and the Lothians.
NHS Lothian Bereavement Service 0131 242 6995 (9am– 5pm, Mon - Fri)
[email protected]
Advice on what to do after a death and help finding bereavement support
Good Life, Good Death, Good Grief Scottish Partnership for Palliative Care, CBC House, 24 Canning Street, Edinburgh EH3 8EG. Tel 0131 272 2735
[email protected]
Brings together people and organisations that are interested in improving people’s experiences of death, dying and bereavement in Scotland.
Samaritans 116 123 (free 24 hours a day, every day)
[email protected]
Support for anyone in a crisis
CONNECT Counselling After Intensive Care 07549 198575 Free, confidential support for people affected by a death in Intensive Care in NHS Lothian
Marie Curie 0800 090 2309 Care and support for those affected by terminal illness
Sue Ryder 0808 1644572 Support for people who are dying and those bereaved
Tell us once. Midlothian Council 0131 271 3281/2 Advises council services of change in circumstances
Midspace On Twitter
On Facebook
Directory of mental health support and services
Wellbeing Service Based in every GP Practice in Midlothian. Referral by a health care professional/GP Support to explore what really matters and how you want to improve your wellbeing.
Practical and financial issues
Name Contact How they can help
DWP Bereavement Service 0800 7310 469 (Free) Support to check if you can claim help with funeral costs or any other benefits.
Down to Earth 020 8983 5055 (10 - 4, Mon - Fri)
[email protected]
Free advocacy and practical guidance on finding the most affordable and appropriate funeral. They can also help you to apply for financial assistance.
Citizens Advice Bureau Penicuik: 01968 675259
Dalkeith: 0131 660 1636
Free, impartial advice on money, benefits, legal matters, and housing.
Midlothian Financial Inclusion Network   Advice to help with money worries, welfare, fuel and food poverty
Name Contact How they can help
Child Death Helpline Open every day 7pm- 10pm plus 10am – 1pm (Mon to Fri) & 1pm – 4pm (Tues & Wed) 0800 282 986 Freephone for mobiles: 0808 800 6019
[email protected]
Support for anyone affected by the death of a child (at any age). Calls are answered by bereaved parents. An interpreting service is available.
The Compassionate Friends 0345 123 2304 (10am - 4pm, 7 - 10pm, every day)
[email protected]  
Support for parents, siblings and grandparents who have experienced the death of a child (at any age).
Child Bereavement UK 0800 028 8840 (9am - 5pm, Mon to Fri) [email protected].org Support for bereaved families, children and professionals.
Held in Our Hearts 0131 622 6263
[email protected]
Support for people who have experienced the death of a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or soon after birth.
SiMBA (Simpsons Memory Box Appeal) 01368 860 141
[email protected] 
Support for people who have lost a baby during pregnancy or around the time of birth.
The Scottish Cot Death Trust 0141 357 3946
[email protected]
Support for people bereaved by cot death (also known as sudden unexpected death in infancy or sudden infant death syndrome).
Saying Goodbye Services 0845 293 8027
[email protected]
Memorial services for people who have been affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.
Children and young people
Name Contact How they can help
Richmond’s Hope 0131 661 6818
[email protected]
Support for bereaved children and young people aged 4 to 18
Winston’s Wish 08452 03 04 05 (9am - 5pm, Mon to Fri , 7 - 9.30pm Wed)  General Enquiries: 01242 515157
[email protected]
Support for bereaved children and young people.
Child Bereavement UK 0800 028 8840 (9am - 5pm, Mon to Fri)
[email protected]
Support for bereaved families, children and professionals
Hope Again Freephone 0808 808 1677 (9.30am - 5pm, Mon to Fri)
General Enquiries: 020 8939 9530
[email protected]
A safe place, where young people who are facing grief can share their stories with others.
ChildLine Freephone 0800 11 11 (24 hours a day, every day) A helpline for children and young people in danger or distress. You can also contact them by email or chat 1-2-1 with a counsellor online.
Sudden death
Name Contact How they can help
Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide 0300 111 5065 (9am - 9pm, every day)
[email protected]
Support and advice for people bereaved by suicide.
PETAL Support (People Experiencing Trauma and Loss) 01698 324502
[email protected]
Support for families and friends of murder and suicide victims.
Brake 0808 8000401 (10am - 4pm, Mon to Fri)
[email protected]
Support for people bereaved by road crashes.
Roadpeace 0845 4500 355 (9am - 5pm, Mon to Fri)
[email protected]
Support for people bereaved by road crashes.
SUDEP Action 01235 772852
[email protected]
Support for people bereaved by sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP).
Scottish Families Affected by Alcohol and Drugs 08080 101011 (free from landlines and mobiles) (9am - 5pm, Monday to Friday)
[email protected]
Support and counselling for people bereaved by drug related deaths.
Death of a partner or spouse
Name Contact How they can help
WAY Widowed and Young Contact form Self-help social and support network for people affected by the death of a spouse or partner under the age of 50 (and their children).
Way Up [email protected] A self-help organisation associated with WAY for people in their 50's and 60's.
Older people
Name Contact How they can help
Age UK Advice (freephone): 0800 169 2081 (8am - 7pm, every day)
Helpline (freephone): 0800 470 80 90
[email protected]
Free information, advice and support on issues including: money matters, health and well being, home and care, work, training and leisure.
Grassy Riggs 0131 654 1770 Support and life skills and bereavement for men over 65 and drop in cafe for anyone over 65
Learning disability
Name Contact How they can help
Palliative Care for people with a Learning disability [email protected] Network working for the benefit of individuals with learning disabilities who have palliative care needs
Macmillan Easy Read resources   Easy Read booklets on topics such as ‘Choosing where to die’, ‘Going to a funeral’, ‘Grief and Loss’

Council staff can access resources on the Intranet. NHS staff can access resources on the intranet, calling 0131 242 6995 and HR online.

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