Early interventions following traumatic bereavement
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A 'traumatic bereavement' is such when the loss is sudden, violent or unexpected; for example, a road traffic collision, suicide or homicide. The experience is terrifying and shocking; individuals cannot prepare for, or protect themselves from, the event. Many traumatically bereaved people find their profound shock, loss or grief is compounded by a lack of help at this terrible time. They need early support, information and advice to help them cope, understand the reactions they are experiencing, and make sense of what has happened. Accessing early support following a traumatic bereavement can make a significant difference to someone's long-term recovery. This report explores: common reactions to traumatic bereavement and how they develop; the role of assessment; and some strategies to manage the challenges that arise as a consequence.