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Death, dying and loss

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Published: 6 May 2020

A candle


COVID-19 is forcing many of us to face the most difficult part of life - death. Health and Wellbeing Manager Alisa Tsykhotsky addresses the issue of bereavement and highlights some places you can go to for help.

Making sense of death during the Coronavirus pandemic, whether of loved ones or just people we know, has made us all far too familiar with bereavement - a period of intense grief following someone’s death. 

Many of us are finding out what it means to worry about the death of someone we know, or even the fear of dying ourselves. With that and constant reporting on the global death toll, we have a lot to deal with. 

On top of all that, social distancing and travel restrictions are creating obstacles in particular, if you’re trying to organise a funeral. It can be traumatic, especially if you’re no longer able to say goodbye to your loved ones in person.

Talking about death and dying is naturally difficult for many of us. But you aren’t alone right now. As students at the University, you have access to support if you are grieving or expecting death in your family.

It’s important to prepare for loss or bereavement before it happens. It helps to create a sense of control which you will need. There are a number of organisations, listed below, that specialise in this kind of support. We want to encourage you to use their services now more than ever.

Please contact the following numbers for further information if you are worried, concerned for yourself or someone else who may be affected by death or bereavement.

University of Sunderland in London Health and Wellbeing

As always, the Health and Wellbeing team are here for you if you need to talk. Email on or call us at 0207 5317 343


The University of Sunderland’s counselling and online support service. Find out more on the Silvercloud website.

University of Sunderland Chaplain

The Chaplain provides friendship, support, pastoral care and advice on religious matters to students and staff, regardless of any particular belief or absence of belief. Contact them at

Marie Curie

An organisation with a lot of resources available to you. You can contact them at or call them on 0800 090 2309. 


Free therapeutic support and talking therapies. Book a free 20 minutes appointment with them at

Cruse Bereavement Care

The UK’s largest bereavement charity. You can contact their national helpline at 0808 808 1677 or visit their website

NHS End of Life Care

The NHS has a lot of information and guidance for people reaching the end of their life. You can find it at

NHS Bereavement

Their help for people who have lost loved ones can be found at

If you need to discuss the issues raised in this article, or any other health and wellbeing topic, book an appointment with the Health and Wellbeing team at or call on 0207 5317 343.

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