Improving bereavement care is a key commitment for the Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing, Lynne Neagle. Today the publication of the first in a series of dedicated bereavement pathways which will support people through a certain type of bereavement.
The first dedicated pathway will support those who have lost a child or young person suddenly or traumatically.
Since the publication of the National Bereavement Framework in late 2021, the National Bereavement Steering Group, which brings the NHS and a number of charities and third sector organisations together, have been developing new specific pathways. The pathways will provide information and guidance to health boards and local authorities to ensure a consistent approach to bereaved families in Wales.
The Deputy Minister launched the new Immediate Support Pathway for Sudden and Unexpected Death in Children and Young People up to 25 years of age at bereavement charity, 2Wish’s Elephant Walk in Cardiff. The pathway follows on from a petition led by 2Wish’s CEO, Rhian Mannings, and a subsequent debate in the Senedd in November 2021. Over 120 people took part in the Elephant Walk in Bute Park, which brings together families, and friends to walk to remember those they have loved and lost too soon.
2Wish are a part of the National Bereavement Steering Group and have given key input into the new framework. 2Wish were also recently awarded Welsh Government grant funding for an all Wales support project that will ensure immediate support is offered to individuals affected by the sudden death of a child or young person.
The Deputy Minister started the walk alongside 2Wish’s CEO founder Rhian Mannings. During the walk the Deputy Minister met bereaved families including Steph and Anthony Jones, Ffion’s Mum and Dad, Elinor Ridout William’s Mum and Jonathan and Lauren Jones, Osian’s Mum, and Dad.
Deputy Minister for Mental Health, Lynne Neagle, said:
“Bereavement affects us all in different ways and I am committed to ensuring support and care is available to everyone across Wales. Working closely with the Bereavement Steering group we are making improvements to bereavement care at pace. We want health boards to take these model pathways and working together with partner agencies adapt them to the needs of their local communities.
“2Wish and other charities across Wales are providing vital services and working together we can support those through their grief.”
Rhian Mannings, CEO and Founder of 2 Wish said:
“We are delighted that the pathway has been developed by Welsh Government. It is crucial that when a family is devastated by sudden child loss, there is an offer of support immediately. Families should not have to go looking for help and this pathway will ensure families are offered support when they need it most. 2wish works with every health board and police force across Wales and we receive daily referrals. However, having this pathway in place will ensure that no family is missed.”