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SUPPORTING FAMILIES TO COMMUNICATE THE DEATH OF A RELATIVE

Adults understandably want to protect children from the devastating news of a loved one’s death, but studies indicate that children are very aware of changes within the family and in the absence of information attempt to make sense of the situation on their own. Children’s conclusions can often be “more dire than the truth” and their developmental understanding means that children may be at risk of unnecessarily blaming themselves for a person’s death. Research shows that the effectiveness of communication with children about illness and death can have far reaching consequences for their psychological wellbeing.

We have developed an animation and step-by-step infographic guide for adults who have the unenviable task of telling children about the death of a loved one. This is particularly pertinent at present when families are isolating together in close proximity, affording adults little time or privacy to plan how to break the news to their children. 

These resources are free to access and share: