Coronavirus (COVID-19): mental health - transition and recovery plan

This plan outlines our response to the mental health impacts of COVID-19. It addresses the challenges that the pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on the population’s mental health.

10. People Who Have Suffered Bereavement and Loss

Bereavement is amongst the most difficult challenges any of us will ever experience. The psychological suffering associated with grief and loss is a natural response to the death of someone we love. However, there is evidence that, for up to 7% of the population, grief can become severe and take a pathological form of complicated grief[11]. We will consider known and emerging risk factors for complicated grief, including those potentially exacerbated by the current pandemic, to ensure relevant help and support is available to those experiencing this. This will include identifying appropriate work to prevent poor mental health following bereavement.

  • 10.1 - Grief. We will work with researchers and stakeholders to understand the greater psychological impact of complicated grief across different population groups and age ranges and design responses. We will do this in collaboration with those with lived experience.
  • 10.2 - Bereavement Support. Working with colleagues across Scottish Government and current providers of bereavement support, we will explore the need for additional screening, outreach, and support for the mental health of those who have lost loved ones during the Covid-19 pandemic.
  • 10.3 - Compassionate Support. We will work with relevant colleagues across the Scottish Government to build on existing compassionate policies to support the mental health of people who may become bereaved.
  • 10.4 - Bereavement by Suicide. Through our suicide prevention work, we will better support and provide help for those bereaved by suicide. We will continue our work with the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group, and in collaboration with local partners in two identified areas, will agree the piloting of a rapid response service. In addition, we will also explore options to take this approach for those affected by drug deaths.



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