The timing of the sudden death of the Queen is both a concern and an opportunity.  Coming as it did, following Brexit and the pandemic, with the change of Prime Minister and war in Ukraine, and when we are facing a winter of ‘discontent’ and cost of living crisis, should raise concern for our country’s sense of stability and long-term mental health.

Before Her Majesty’s death, there was much unprocessed grief and loss, combined with fear and uncertainty.  And now a dependable ‘constant’ - a foundation for over 70 years - has also been lost.

The Queen’s death came just as our children and young people were beginning a new school year, having had disruptions for the last two, only a week after the anniversary of Princess Diana’s death and 3 days before the anniversary of 9/11 – both of which echo for many in much of what is seen and heard.

We have a mental health crisis in the UK and behind many of our society’s problems is unresolved loss. Several have mentioned being surprised by their strength of feelings. Boris Johnson commented saying, “I know that today there are countless people in this country and around the world who have experienced the same, sudden access of unexpected emotion, and I think millions of us are trying to understand why we are feeling this deep and personal and almost familial sense of loss”. Statements such as this reveal the extent of the problem - and will, in themselves, evoke strong feelings from those who have lost loved ones over the past 2 years.

it is important to recognise and deal with the fears, change and loss we have faced as a country and individuals over recent years - to learn how to grieve and support each other well, for the health of the country and the people Queen Elizabeth loved. To find, - to use the terminology of grief – ‘new normals’ - for a more secure and healthy future.