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The Impact of the Pandemic on Childhood Bereavement

More children and young people have been bereaved as a result of Covid-19, losing grandparents, parents, siblings and other family members.

BBC Children in Need’s Insights indicate that the nature of the virus means death may be unexpected or happen quickly, impacting on children being able to say goodbye to those they love.

The impact of social distancing means that some children and young people haven’t been able to go to funerals in person, instead attending online, in smaller services or not at all.

Children and young people from Black and Asian communities are facing multiple challenges due to Covid-19 including an increased likelihood of bereavement and potentially multiple bereavements. The context of these bereavements including racism, isolation social injustice and inequity means that they can face additional trauma and complex issues impacting on their bereavement.

These significant changes to how end of life is treated may have a profound impact on grief and coping with loss. Children and young people may require help to navigate the difficulties of bereavement alongside increased exposure to discussion and coverage of death.

It is anticipated that impacts on emotional wellbeing and mental health will be both short and long term.

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