A sudden illness, injury, or death of a loved one can be emotionally and physically draining. If you need someone to talk to straight away, you can call the Samaritans on 116 123. The Samaritans is a helpline, open 24-hours a day for anyone in need. It is staffed by trained volunteers who will listen sympathetically. You can also contact the Samaritans by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may find hospital staff or your GP offer you and/or your loved one the chance to see a counsellor to talk about what has happened. If not, you can ask for an appointment.
Some professional carers, who may be counsellors, psychotherapists, psychologists or psychiatrists, have expertise in caring for someone who has been affected by a traumatic event. They can help you and your loved one talk about your experiences and reactions and ways to cope and feel stronger.
You may wish to ask if you can talk to someone who specialises in this. Care from these specialists can be free if your GP refers you. If your GP does not refer you, you may have to pay for the care yourself. The organisations listed on this page hold lists of professional carers who specialise in helping people who have been through a traumatic event.
Organisations that can put you in touch with professional carers
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
BACP, 15 St John's Business Park, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4HB, United Kingdom
Tel: 01455 883300
United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy
You may wish to contact a local organisation that can offer support. You can ask the nursing staff, a social worker or chaplain for information. You may also wish to contact a national organisation that specialises in providing support to people who have been affected by a certain type of death, illness or injury. Details of these organisations are given on the next few pages.
Organisations supporting people bereaved by any cause
Cruse Bereavement Care 0808 808 1677 or go to www.cruse.org.uk
Cruse Bereavement Care for children and young people 0808 808 1677 or go to www.hopeagain.org.uk
The Samaritans operates a 24-hour helpline for anyone in need on 116 123
If your partner has died
The WAY Foundation (Widowed and Young) www.widowedandyoung.org.uk/
If a child or a child's relative has died
Child Bereavement UK 0800 02 888 40 or go to www.childbereavementuk.org
The Child Death Helpline 0800 282 986 or 0808 800 6019 if calling from a mobile or go to www.childdeathhelpline.org.uk
The Compassionate Friends 0345 123 2304
Care for the Family 029 2081 0800 or go to www.careforthefamily.org.uk
Support following a road death or injury
The road safety charity provides support to bereaved and injured road crash victims through a helpline and care literature, including this booklet.
Provides information and support to bereaved and injured road crash victims.
SCARD (Support and Care after Road Death and Injury) working with CADD (Campaign Against Drinking and Driving)
Two charities working together to provide emotional and practical support to those who have lost a loved one, or been injured or affected by drunk or reckless driving.
Support for victims of crime
Provides information and support to people affected by crime through local branches and trained volunteers.
Cranmer House, 39 Brixton Road, London SW9 6DZ
Helpline: 0808 1689 111
Support After Murder And Manslaughter (SAMM)
Provides support to families bereaved by murder or manslaughter.
Support for chest, heart and stroke illnesses
British Heart Foundation (BHF)
Offers a range of resources and has a network of support groups for patients and families affected by heart problems.
180 Hampstead Road, London NW1 7AW
British Lung Foundation (BLF)
Offers Breath Easy support groups for anyone with lung problems.
Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland
Trained nurses offer information and advice. They can refer you to local support groups for people with chest, heart and stroke illnesses.
Head Office, Third Floor Rosebery House, 9 Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh, EH12 5EZ
Tel: 0131 225 6963
Advice line: 0808 801 0899 (Monday to Friday, 9.30am – 4.00pm)
Northern Ireland Chest, Heart and Stroke Association
Provides information and advice to people in Northern Ireland.
The Stroke Association, Stroke Information Service
Provides support and information on publications and services available to individuals and families affected by a stroke.
Support for head and spinal injuries
Brain and Spine Foundation
Provides information and support to brain and spine injured people.
Child Brain Injury Trust
Provides information and support to children and young people with a brain injury, their families and the professionals who support them.
Headway (The National Head Injuries Association)
Provides information and support to adults with a head injury and their carers, through support groups, day care centres and literature.
Spinal Injuries Association (SIA)
Provides information and advice for people with spinal cord injuries.
SIA House, 2 Trueman Place, Oldbrook, Milton Keynes, MK6 2HH.
Tel: 01908 604191
Adviceline: 0800 980 0501 (Mon – Fri, 10.00am -1.00pm and 2.00pm-4.30pm)
National Back Pain Association (BackCare)
Provides information on back conditions and managing back pain.
Monkey Puzzle House, BackCare, 69-71 Windmill Road, Sunbury-on-Thames TW16 7DT
Tel: 0208 977 5474 (Mon-Fri. 8.00am – 8.00pm, Sat. 9.00am – 1.00pm)
Support for sight, hearing and speech impairment
Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB)
Provides information and support for anyone with impaired sight.
Royal National Institute for the Deaf (now known as Action Hearing Loss)
Offers information on a range of issues relating to deafness and hearing loss.
1-3 Highbury Station Road, London N11SE
Telephone: 0808 808 0123 (freephone)
Textphone: 0808 808 9000 (freephone)
SMS: 0780 0000 360
Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
Provides general advice and information on local NHS speech and language therapy services.
Support for burns or disfiguring injuries
Supports adults and children living with a disfiguring injury.
The Children's Burns Trust
Offers information and support about rehabilitation of children following severe burns.
Support for people with a disability
Dial UK (Disability information and advice line)
A network of local services run by and for disabled people.
Disabled Living Foundation
Provides advice and information on living equipment for disabled people.
Provides information and support for people without one or more limbs.
Information on legal matters
The Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL)
An association representing solicitors who specialise in claiming money following death or injury.
Tel: 0115 943 5400
The Motor Accident Solicitors Society (MASS)
A national association representing solicitors who specialise in claims following death or injury in a road crash.
Tel: 0117 925 9604
The Law Society
Offers information and advice on choosing and using a solicitor.
Tel: 020 7242 1222 (Mon – Fri. 9:00am-5:00pm)
Updated: June 2019