Monday, May 24, 2021
Many Londoners have experienced very sudden and traumatic loss during the pandemic. As we begin to recover from the pandemic, for many people across London life has changed and there will be no ‘return to normal’.
South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust is supporting a new public awareness campaign, In loving memory of Londoners lost.
The campaign aims to get London talking about grief and bereavement, reflect upon the scale of loss felt across our city during the pandemic, remember those we have lost, and support loved ones left behind. It follows the opening of London Blossom Garden at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as a living memorial to the impact of COVID-19 on our capital.
Community leaders across south London have joined forces with South London and Maudsley to take urgent action to prevent a mental health crisis caused by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Sign up for the South London Listens Community Summit on June 16.
The Trust is appointing two community chaplains for a suicide bereavement service provided by the Trust in partnership with Mind. The service is open to all people of all ages bereaved by suicide across South East London and will provide director support and signposting to other services.
Dr Michael Holland, Medical Director at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust said: “We’re pleased to support the In loving memory of Londoners lost campaign to raise awareness of all aspects of grief and loss. We must remember those we have lost during the pandemic and support the loved ones left behind.
“Our suicide bereavement service will support people in the community who are affected by suicide and, we hope will reduce the risk of further deaths by suicide in this vulnerable group through preventative, outreach work.”
Dr Jacqui Dyer MBE, mental health equalities advisor for NHS England and co-lead of Thrive LDN, added: “Now is the right time to reflect upon the scale of loss and death which is still being felt. Lockdown restrictions have made bereavement much harder, and research has shown the experience of Covid-19 grief to be worse than other types of grief. As a result, we can expect many more people to require extra support.”
Bereavement can be lonely. As a society, we do not talk openly about death, making it harder for people to access support. And it can be difficult to know how to comfort somebody who is grieving. The campaign is a chance to remember loved Londoners lost, and show we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those who mourn them.
Philip Glanville, the Mayor of Hackney and co-lead of Thrive LDN, said: “Grief can feel very lonely, and for many the grief experienced from Covid has been even more complex as our collective ways of remembering those we have lost have also been so altered by social distancing and lockdown. As a society, we shy away from speaking about death. As a result, bereaved people can find it hard to understand what they are going through, and to get the help they need, when they need it. And it can be difficult to know how to comfort somebody who is grieving.
“Nothing will make losing someone any easier, but we can support Londoners to talk about grief and bereavement, so that people can find the support to get through it and know where to go if they need extra help.”
To find out more visit In loving memory of Londoners lost
South London Listens community summit takes place on June 16. Community leaders will be presenting back the findings of the listening campaign. They will reveal the themes that emerged and the actions we all need to take to build a mentally healthier future together. We will be there, ready to act. Join us by signing up now www.citizensuk.org/listeningsummit
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