Psychological & Bereavement Services

Whether you are a patient, a family member or a close friend of someone who is being cared for by Earl Mountbatten, you will invariably experience a wide range of emotional reactions that can be difficult to predict or understand.  It is important to realise that these emotions are a natural response to the changes that are taking place in your life.

Our Psychology and Bereavement service provides professionally trained and experienced support for you during this very difficult time. We also benefit from specially trained bereavement volunteers who offer additional support to people both in their own homes and at the hospice. Anything you say will be kept confidential. 

Who can use the service?

Our services are available for people of all ages, including children, and as needed  before or after death. Our KissyPuppy Childrens and Families Bereavement Service is focused on families, and offers Childrens' Days as an opportunity to explore grief and emotion through play and other social activities. Parents also benefit from the service as they are able to discuss issues with other parents going through similar experiences.

What psychological reactions might I experience?

Dealing with the reality of a life-limiting illness can be devastating and can provoke a wide range of psychological reactions. Something called "anticipatory grief" can be experienced by patients approaching the end of life, and also by their family members and carers. You may experience physical reactions such as fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep problems, and emotions such as hopelessness, anger, guilt, shock, disbelief, anxiousness and depression. People can also experience problems with concentration, confusion and memory problems, and you may notice changes in the way you think or behave, such as becoming withdrawn and socially isolated.

How can psychological support help?

Earl Mountbatten Hospice's psychologists are experts in being able to understand the connections between emotions, behaviour and processes in the mind. Although it is understandable and quite normal to have strong feelings and reactions when faced with bereavement, psychological support can be a great help. Having time and space to discuss emotions, thoughts and concerns with a trained and independent person can help to make sense of certain reactions, and may help resolve some difficult feelings.

What support is available?

Individual appointments for patients, carers and family members are available. Appointments may also be offered to couples or families. Therapeutic groups are also available for those who would benefit from sharing their experiences with others in a similar situation. Bereavement and emotional support is also available. 

Who will I talk to?

You may see a Counsellor or a Clinical Psychologist; each of these has specific qualifications and professional registration. They are able to provide a range of support methods. 

How much support will I need?

Everyone's needs are different. Some people need one or two sessions, others require longer term support. Sessions last for up to one hour at a time and will usually be held in the John Cheverton Centre or on our ward (Inpatient Unit).

Who can use this service?

Our services are available to patients, their families and carers. This includes people being support at home and those using the services in the John Cheverton Centre. We can also offer support even if your relative or friend who has died wasn't cared for by us. Talk to your GP, who can refer you to us.

What kind of sessions do you run?

One-to-one therapy is most common, and we also run bereavement groups, as well as a monthly service for couples and for families. We run a weekly discussion group, Death Chat, which is available to anyone who simply wants to know more about death and dying. We run a number of events and sessions for children and families, thanks to our partnership with KissyPuppy, the Sophie Rolf Trust. 

How can I contact the service?

You do not need to be referred to the service.  Simply pick up the phone if support is required. Contact the Psychology and Bereavement Service by phoning (01983) 533776.  There is an answerphone where you can leave a message and someone will return your call.

Other resources

You can download a leaflet about our Psychological and Bereavement Services by clicking the image below. You can also watch a video featuring our Clinical Psychologist Jane Hazeldine.

"They anticipate my needs and I believe go the extra mile in ensuring the quality of my life is enhanced".


Wendy Young, patient