Early Support

Our Early Support Service is available to adults, any time from the day of a death to six months after. If you have been bereaved for more than six months, you can seek support via our counselling service.

We offer a range of options for Early Support:

One-to-One Early Support

This can be a one-off session, or a series of sessions, depending on each person's needs. They are held on a one-to-one basis, to provide information and support to help improve an individual’s capacity to cope with their grief.

A trained therapist will meet with a client and aim to:

  • hear the client's experience of pain and loss
  • recognise and support the client to trust their own coping strategies
  • encourage the client to build resilience
  • provide information, normalise the grief, and strengthen self-belief
  • assess risk of suicide and other harms
  • identify other available support options, within their own networks and beyond

Early Support Groups

Our Early Support Groups are suitable for people who would find it helpful to talk and listen to others who have experienced a recent loss. 

Groups will be led by two facilitators, who are experienced in bereavement support. Group numbers are limited to no more than 12 and they will meet each week for six weeks. The same people will attend the group each week, no new members can join once the first meeting has started. Sessions are currently being held via Zoom.

Early Support Groups offer a space to safely explore the challenges which many bereaved people face after the death of someone important in their life.

The key aims of the groups are to support with:

  • understanding and coping with the emotions linked to grieving (such as guilt, anger, and overwhelming sadness)
  • Acknowledging clients' needs and discussing solutions
  • Making connections with others who share a recent experience of loss
  • Boosting group members' emotional health and wellbeing
  • Identifying things that can help bring some joy back to life


The first step in getting help is to call our National Bereavement Helpline or to email us: support@crusescotland.org.uk


Why not counselling in the first six months?

Early in bereavement, there can be much emotional upheaval, along with a loss of confidence, so people are inclined to say yes to offers of help. However, most people find their own resources for dealing with the loss within themselves and their permanent support networks. 

Research has suggested that when professional counsellors get involved, friends and family tend to withdraw. They may feel the bereaved person is in good hands, or that they are now redundant. They may even feel they have been unhelpful, otherwise the person would not have needed professional help.

The purpose of Early Support is to activate the natural support system, not to replace it.



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