Bereavement support for LGBTQ+ individuals is crucial, as they may face unique challenges and experiences following the loss of a loved one. Here are some of the reasons why access to understanding support is important.

  1. Safe Spaces: LGBTQ+ individuals need to feel comfortable expressing their grief without fear of judgment or discrimination. This could be in the form of support groups, online forums, or counselling services specifically for the LGBTQ+ community.

  2. Culturally Competent Counsellors: Understanding the unique challenges, experiences, and dynamics that LGBTQ+ individuals may face in relation to grief and loss needs counsellors and support staff trained in LGBTQ+ cultural competency. See Pink Therapy below.

  3. Peer Support Networks: Networks that can provide empathy, validation, and a sense of community during a difficult time are important for all bereaved people but especially the LGBTQ+ community. Many LGBTQ+ individuals have experienced difficult journeys and connecting with others who understand is particularly helpful at a time of loss.

  4. Education and Resources: Access to educational resources and materials specifically tailored to LGBTQ+ individuals coping with bereavement is important. This includes information on grief processes, coping strategies, legal rights, and available support services.

  5. Affirming Language and Practices: Respecting the diverse identities within the LGBTQ+ community, including using appropriate pronouns, acknowledging chosen family structures, and validating all forms of relationships and partnerships is hugely important.

  6. Addressing Stigma and Isolation: Death and bereavement have been stigmatised over the years in our society. For the LGBTQ+ community doubly so. Race, ethnicity, gender identity, socioeconomic status, and disability may also influence an individual's grieving process and support needs. Specialist bereavement support can help to address the stigma and isolation that individuals may experience in relation to bereavement, including challenging societal attitudes that may marginalize their grief experiences.

If you are bereaved and identify as LGBTQ+ understanding support is available. Try;

MINDOUT for a wide range of services, including online advice and befriending

Pink Therapy for LGBTQ+ counselling

Switchboard: LGBT which includes a national helpline and support for LGBTQ+ Christians this Easter.