Working hand in hand with Cruse Bereavement Support, Civil Servants Charity, and NHS Guys and St Thomas’ to address widespread grief crisis
Death is painful, unbelievably painful, no matter what the circumstances, however Covid has taken this pain to an extreme. The inability to see our dying loved ones in person, to say goodbye and give them the comfort they deserve is unnatural and heartbreaking. This coupled with the inability to receive in person support ourselves, isolated from our friends and family has left many unable to fully process their grief and in need of support.
Unfortunately our current health systems are ill-equipped to address these needs. According to a recent study by Cardiff University’s Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Centre and the University of Bristol, three quarters of bereaved people who need professional grief support struggle to actually receive it. Reasons cited included long waiting lists, ineligibility and discomfort around seeking support.
The onus is falling on the charity sector and employers to provide timely and diverse options to help the bereaved. Our well-being as a nation depends on it: 15% of serious mental health disorders result from unresolved grief (Lazare, 1979), underscoring the need to address grief as early as possible.
Grief Works, the interactive grief app created by UK’s leading grief expert Julia Samuel MBE with well-being app startup Psychological Technologies (PSYT), is committed to helping combat the grief resource deficit evident in the UK, and change how the population perceives and accesses quality support during grief, in a way that can be applied at scale.
The app has been lauded by therapists and users alike for its thoughtful design and complete toolkit to help the bereaved navigate the myriad emotions that come with grief, giving a guided experience that closely parallels in-person therapy for the fraction of the price.
“This app has been invaluable since the sudden death of my Mum a month ago,” writes one user, MinnyhHa, on the App Store, where the app has been selected as App of the Day and Editor’s Choice. “It is like having a therapist / friend to advise, support and guide in what has been a horrific time – it has enabled me to keep things together and be able to face the difficulties alongside my family.”
In efforts to reach more people in need of grief support, Grief Works has launched partnerships across four sectors including employers, healthcare providers, charities, and therapists.
Julia Samuel explains: “Grief is a confusing and isolating emotion which is difficult to tackle because it is invisible – yet impacts every aspect of life. Ignoring feelings of grief can lead to worse outcomes and so through these partnerships we aim to make it more accessible and acceptable than ever to seek support.”
Nick Begley, CEO of PSYT comments: “Sadly, death is ever present, it surrounds us daily, and causes us such deep pain. I’m thankful that we have been able to work with Julia to help people through this inevitable, heart-wrenching process that can be so devastating to our lives, yet is rarely addressed. It’s wonderful to see support from employers and associations growing.”
As of this month, Grief Works will grant free access to all 4000 volunteers working with the UK’s largest bereavement charity Cruse. Also, 20% of the sales of the app via the charity will be donated to helping Cruse continue its work supporting the bereaved. Last year alone, Cruse assisted 93,000 people with their grief, a significant increase from previous years. The collaboration has provided the opportunity to provide instant support to anyone who seeks it, whilst simultaneously bolstering Cruse’s fundraising efforts.
Grief Works has also established affiliations with the Charity for Civil Servants and NHS Trust Guys and St Thomas’, both of which recognize the pressing need to provide their communities with as much grief support as possible. The app is available for free to members of each organisation. This is a giant step forward to a world where grief is never experienced alone.
Charlene Valorie, Director of Fundraising and Income Generation at Cruse Bereavement Support comments:
“With more and more people coming to Cruse for support, it’s important that we explore new and innovative ways to provide help to those grieving. Last year alone, Cruse directly supported 93,000 people and that number continues to rise. That’s why the partnership with Grief Works is so valuable. The Grief Works app, created by Julia Samuel, gives people the opportunity to access instant bereavement support – and with 20% of the profits going to Cruse, it also means that more people will be able to access services like our National Helpline and ongoing support sessions.”
Linda Eades, Head of Caring, Health and Wellbeing Services comments:
“The Charity for Civil Servants is pleased to be working with PSYT to bring the Grief Works app to its community. We know that many people are being impacted by grief. The Grief Works app takes you through every type of feeling and challenge of grief. It provides quick access to many tools and resources to practice, helping you to understand your feelings and be able to use techniques wherever you are and whatever you’re going through.”
Grief Works is available on the app store for £49.99 for three months of support on the App Store and Google Play Store.
About Grief Works
Encompassing Julia Samuel’s wealth of counselling experience, Grief Works provides 24-hour support and guidance to those grappling with grief. This involves a programme of 28 sessions, led by Julia, helping users work through their grief, as well as 30 interactive tools which help soothe the mind and calm difficult thoughts. The app has been awarded the prestigious ‘App of the Day’ by Apple’s App Store and has seen 15,000 downloads since its launch in April 2021, with 93% of users reporting improved mood immediately after using its tools.
About Julia Samuel
As a leading grief psychotherapist and a vice president of the British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists, Julia has spent the last thirty years supporting bereaved families. She is the Founder Patron of Child Bereavement UK, with Prince William being Royal Patron, and was awarded an MBE for her services to bereaved children. She is the author of two bestselling books: Grief Works and This Too Shall Pass.
About Psychological Technologies (PSYT)
Psychological Technologies is an award winning company specialising in innovative, positive change grounded in research to improve the wellbeing of people everywhere through digital technology. Nick Begley, CEO, specialised in the neuroscience of mindfulness at UCL and was Head of Research at Headspace. Dr George MacKerron, CTO, is a world-leading academic, completing his PhD at LSE in the economics of happiness and created the world’s largest study into momentary happiness, Mappiness.
For further partnership requests, please contact Tracy Stride