Northern Ireland

Bereavement charity bracing itself for increased demand this month

A charity says it is preparing for an unprecedented surge in demand for its online bereavement support services this January (ChayTee/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

A bereavement charity is bracing itself for increased demand this month as new research reveals people in Belfast believe January is the “one of the most challenging months to grieve”.

The Sue Ryder charity said it is preparing for “an unprecedented surge in demand for its online bereavement support services”.

It comes after previous figures show there was a 146% increase in the number of visits to the charity’s online bereavement services between January 2022 and January 2023.

It anticipates over 273,000 visits to these services this month.

The charity says the forecast aligns with a year-on-year trend observed, during which January has consistently been the month with the highest demand for online bereavement support services.

January can be a really difficult time for those who are grieving, that’s why we're encouraging the nation to be Grief...

Posted by Sue Ryder on Wednesday, 10 January 2024

Additional research commissioned by Sue Ryder reveals around 70% of people in Belfast who have experienced a close bereavement agree that January is one of the most challenging months to grieve.

When asked why, around two fifths attribute this difficulty to the sadness of beginning another year without their family member who died.

Half feel lonelier and more isolated compared to other months.

Bianca Neumann from the charity said: “These statistics “show the escalating demand for our bereavement support services, and the vital role we play in providing accessible bereavement services to ensure people can access the right support for them, at the right time.

“January can be an extremely difficult time of year for those who have been bereaved and in fact, our research revealed that over half of people in Belfast stress the need for greater awareness around checking in with friends and family during this month.

“The societal pressure of New Year’s resolutions, the financial strain following Christmas, the darker nights and people socialising less, can be attributed to people feeling lonelier and more isolated in their grief.

“This is a time when people may need additional support more than ever, or simply for a friend or family member to check in on how they are feeling.”

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