Hospice Counselling Continues - East Cheshire Hospice

Hospice Counselling Continues

Therapists at East Cheshire Hospice are working remotely as Covid-19 presents new challenges.

The Hospice’s counselling services have continued during lockdown, providing vital help to families facing added issues around bereavement.

Restrictions on the number of mourners attending funerals have made things even harder for the bereaved. So too social distancing at such a tragic time.

Such worries are typical topics of conversation during sessions with highly-skilled counsellors who continue to work during the pandemic.

Children’s counsellor Jane Burton said: “We’re still active and although I can’t see children and families face-to-face because of the restrictions, we’re now doing things in a different way using the likes of Zoom or the telephone.

“I’ve noticed that the restrictions around funerals are highlighting the ceremonial aspect of going to say goodbye to someone.

“Restrictions on mourners mean families are having to make difficult decisions about those who can’t go and how to prioritise?

“If someone has a large family and only a tiny number of people can attend it has implications for everybody.

“In addition, bereaved families might normally call on relatives and friends to be with them to share in their grief but that’s another restriction because they can’t do that physically.

“They can’t have a chat over a cup of tea or give someone a hug.”

East Cheshire Hospice Children’s counsellor Jane Burton.

Children across East Cheshire are eligible for help, even without a Hospice association.

Jane said: “We support children who’ve been bereaved or are have a close family member with a life-limiting illness. Questions I’m asked are ‘how and when do I speak to my child?’ That can be because children of different ages understand death in different ways.

“I’m keen to promote the importance of talking to  children about death and dying as a general concept. Covid-19 has highlighted the importance of this with extra layers of things people must think about and which weren’t a consideration before.”

The Hospice has streamlined services during the coronavirus crisis with Jane’s colleagues Fay Mitchell and Helen Wilkinson still working.

Fay is an art therapist as part of the outpatient services which are currently suspended on site, while Helen Wilkinson runs the adult bereavement counselling service.

The Hospice website has various community resource information, including downloadable children’s books explaining  Covid-19 and supporting a child when someone they love is ill and has a poor prognosis. Visit eastcheshirehospice.org.uk/communityresources/.

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