The death of someone important to us will probably be one of the most difficult experiences we ever have to face. Grief is what we feel after a significant loss such as bereavement and our feelings of grief can take many forms, including sadness, anger, relief, depression and many others. Everyone experiences grief differently and there is no ‘normal’ or ‘right’ way to grieve. Grief is completely natural after bereavement and people cope with it with help and support either from family or friends, or from an organisation like ours.
SAIF Bereavement Care is a service offered by selected funeral homes that are members of the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF).
SAIF Bereavement Care is provided by Professional Help Limited, an organisational member of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy. Professional Help maintains the highest standards of customer service, client care and safe practice.
What will happen if I call 0800 917 7224?
A member of our supportive staff team will be happy to listen to your experience, answer any questions you may have about bereavement or bereavement support and share helpful information about our services and other appropriate organisations that you might wish to contact. Our helpline is open from 9am-9pm, Monday to Friday and although we endeavour to personally answer every call there may be times when the phones are busy, in which case you will hear an answerphone message. Please don’t be put off by this – simply leave your contact details and tell us the best time for us to call you and we will ring you back as soon as possible – at the latest on the next working day.
Professional Help staff are all trained in counselling skills and in bereavement care and will be able to listen and support you. If you wish to access our counselling services, our Associate Counsellors are highly qualified professional counsellors who have successfully completed our rigorous application process. All of our people are friendly, reassuring and supportive as well as being vetted and fully insured.
You can expect your counsellor to be warm and welcoming and they will respect you as an individual for whom counselling is a support mechanism to help you cope with your grief and come to terms with your loss. They will keep appointments and see you regularly. Your counsellor won’t be able to take the pain of your bereavement away, but they will help you to understand your experience of grief, develop self-care and coping strategies and deal with the challenges you may be facing.
If you are using our counselling services, we ask that you keep your appointments (apart from in emergencies), or cancel in good time so we can make the best use of our counsellors. At the end of your support we appreciate it if you complete an evaluation survey (which can be completed over the telephone, online or on paper) which helps us to continue to develop and improve our services.
Where does counselling take place?
One-to-one counselling with one of our carefully selected Associate Counsellors takes place either at the counsellor’s premises, your local funeral home (where appropriate rooms are available) or at another agreed venue. A face to face session normally lasts for about one hour. Both telephone and Skype/Facetime counselling can be arranged and are highly flexible – you and the counsellor work together to choose the time and location which suits your needs.
All SAIF Bereavement Care services are free of charge to people who have used a SAIF member funeral business. Should you wish to exceed the 6 free sessions of support that you are entitled to from the service, then it may be possible for us to make arrangements for you to continue to see your counsellor on a paying basis.
All our staff and Associates work to Professional Help’s policies and procedures and also the BACP Ethical Framework, which binds them to hold everything you say in confidence unless they feel there is a risk to your life or the lives of others. All of our Associate Counsellors undertake ongoing training and are professionally supervised – they may talk to their supervisor about your experience, but they will never share information which may identify you. All of our policies including confidentiality, are available on request.