Integrating grief program

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Free bereavement counselling and support

Griefline’s Integrating Grief Program is a free counselling and support service developed by Griefline and funded by the NSW Government to provide enhanced bereavement care for the people of NSW.

Older adult male looking wistfully out a window

Bereavement is the experience of grief and mourning following a death. As the bereaved, it can feel like time is standing still, like you are stuck in memories of the one that’s passed away, rather than looking to a future without them. 

For some of us, our grief might not lessen, even after time passes, and it can significantly disrupt our daily functioning, affecting jobs, relationships and how we interact in the community.

The Griefline Integrating Grief Program is aimed at helping individuals struggling with their grief. The program helps people come to terms with the loss, restoring a sense of purpose to their life.

Who is this program for?

How the program works

The process shown below is based on a client that has confirmed consent and agrees to participate in the program.

*During the intake call we assess your individual needs, including your suitability for the program.
**Your tailored support could include a referral onto free sessional counselling, group support, or other Griefline services for self-care and maintenance such as our forums, helpline or online resources.
***Continuation of care could include referral to a third-party professional practitioner.

Benefits of the program

Frequently asked questions

The process outlined below is based on a client that has confirmed consent and agrees to participate in the program.

The Griefline Intake Counsellor will receive the registration from the website and make an initial phone call to confirm consent, explain the program process, and invite the client to participate. The client confirms consent and agrees to participate.

An intake call with the client will then take place which will take about 30+ minutes to complete an assessment with the client. It is at this point that the best course of action in collaboration with the client is determined.  

If it is determined that the client would benefit from participating in the free counselling program, a Griefline counsellor will be appointed. Alternatively, the client may be referred to other free Griefline support services and resources or a third-party professional practitioner.

Griefline counsellors providing support under the Integrating Grief Program have a Bachelor Degree in Counselling, Social Work or Psychology (as the minimum qualification). 

All have experience providing support for grief and loss as volunteers to Griefline’s Helpline and Policeline programs prior to joining the organisation in a paid capacity.

All have completed additional training in advanced grief theories, and supporting someone experiencing prolonged grief.

Prolonged grief disorder (PGD) is a form of grief that is persistent and pervasive and interferes with functioning. It’s characterized by:

  • preoccupation with the deceased or circumstances of the death
  • persistent yearning or longing for the deceased
  • difficulty making sense of the loss
  • misinterpretation of aspects of the loss (e.g. excessive self-blame)
  • avoidance of reminders of the loss
  • feeling that life is meaningless without the deceased
  • prolonged experience of grief, e.g. for more than one year

Prolonged grief continues to dominate a bereaved person’s mind. The future seems bleak and empty, and the bereaved person feels lost and alone. (Source: The Center for Prolonged Grief, Columbia School of Social Work). Also known as Complicated Grief and Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder. As the field has progressed, there have been several different iterations of syndrome and several new names for the syndrome.

A prolonged and persistent form of intense grief, where the bereaved is unable to adapt to the loss. This affects approximately one in ten of the grieving population.  

Grief reaction is beyond the expected social or cultural norms and is referred to as Prolonged Grief Disorder by the ICD II WHO, 2018, or Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder in the DSM V. 

PGD can look like depression, anxiety disorder or PTSD and is associated with more prolonged distress and disability. It can also increase the risk of suicide and psychiatric disorders. Other health risks include increased drinking, smoking, cancer and cardiovascular problems.

A member of the Griefline intake team will ask you a number of questions during the intake process to find out the type of support that might suit you best.

The decision is always yours as to whether you proceed, and you are able to opt-out at any time.

Your personal and health information is confidential, meaning it will not be shared with anyone not directly involved in your care and support. Relevant information is shared with the Griefline counselling team to enable appropriate care to be given to you. De-identified information may be used for planning and reporting purposes by Griefline.

This program is funded by

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