National Grief Awareness Month | 2 – 9 December


National Grief Awareness Month, 2-9 December, aims to raise awareness of all aspects of grief and loss, normalise the concept of grief and to better equip those who are experiencing grief or those who have not yet experienced this emotion.

The event seeks to create a safe space for individuals to openly discuss their experiences, encourage empathy, compassion and support for those who are grieving, whilst emphasising that grief is a universal and often challenging part of the human experience.

National Grief Awareness Month provides a dedicated period for individuals, organisations and communities to come together to acknowledge and address the various aspects of grief.

What is Grief?
Grief is the profound and transformative emotional process that arises from the experience of losing someone or something of deep personal significance, leading individuals to navigate through a range of intense feelings, thoughts and physical sensations, while ultimately seeking meaning, healing and acceptance in the face of their loss.

Grief can be experienced in other circumstances, such as the loss of a pet or the death of a public figure. It can also manifest itself as the loss of something you consider important such as losing your job or breaking up with a partner.

Grief is not limited to just mourning the physical absence of someone or something but also encompasses feelings of sadness, longing, confusion, anger, guilt and a profound sense of emptiness. It can impact both your physical and mental health and can also result in social reactions, such as having no desire to engage with others, behaviour changes or difficulty communicating with those around you.

It’s essential to be patient and compassionate with yourself while going through the grieving process.

The 5 stages of grief
Some people find comfort in the 5 stages of grief as a framework for understanding their emotions. The concept was introduced by Elizabeth Kübler-Ross in her book On Death and Dying published in 1969. The 5 stages are not necessarily experienced in a linear or predictable order, and not everyone will go through all of them.

  1. Denial: A stage where the individual may have difficulty accepting the reality of loss and may feel numb or in shock.
  2. Anger: Grief can give rise to feelings of frustration, resentment, and anger, sometimes directed at others, oneself, or even the deceased.
  3. Bargaining: Individuals may try to negotiate or make deals in their minds, seeking ways to reverse or prevent the loss from happening.
  4. Depression: A profound sense of sadness, despair and hopelessness can set in as the reality of the loss becomes more apparent.
  5. Acceptance: Eventually, many individuals reach a stage of acceptance, where they come to terms with the loss and begin to find ways to move on with their lives.

Many people – both who have and have not experienced significant losses – do not have a firm grasp on what grief is and how to cope with it. National Grief Awareness Month gives an opportunity to learn about grief and the ways it can affect you and those around you.

Some ways you can get involved:
Participating in National Grief Awareness Month is an excellent way to support those who are grieving and contribute to breaking down the barriers surrounding grief.

  • Share personal stories: Encourage individuals to share their experiences with grief, either through written narratives, art or verbal discussions. This sharing can help others feel less alone in their grief journey.
  • Attend grief support events: Look for local or online grief support events, workshops and seminars. These can provide valuable information and a supportive community for those in need.
  • Offer a listening ear: Sometimes, the most significant support you can provide is to listen without judgment. Offer your time and empathy to someone who is grieving.
  • Spread awareness: Use social media and other platforms to share information about National Grief Awareness Month, including facts about grief and resources for support.
  • Support grief organisations: Contribute to or volunteer with organisations dedicated to helping individuals cope with grief and loss.


For more information and further tips and support, visit the following websites:


For more information, please contact Helen in the DEI Team:
Helen Choudhury
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion
Champion of Menopause
Mental Health First Aider
[email protected]

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