Online Bereavement Counselling Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to common questions about our Online Bereavement Counselling Service.

About the service

What is bereavement counselling?

Bereavement counselling is a form of support that focuses on helping you cope with grief and mourning. Bereavement counselling can support you throughout the bereavement process, whether your loss is a recent one or some years have passed.

What is online counselling?

Online counselling is a form of support that's given over the internet via video chat. Using video chat means that you and your counsellor will be able to see each other and have a one-to-one conversation. Having counselling online is a much more flexible way of accessing support as you can attend from the comfort of your own home. 

What technology do I need to be able to access this service?

All you need to be able to use our video counselling service is a computer, laptop, or other device with a webcam and a microphone. If you're using a tablet or smartphone, the camera will act as a webcam.

Can I have counselling over the telephone?

No, this service offers online counselling using video chat. Our team of counsellors have either completed or are working towards completing specialist training in providing counselling through video chat. This training has been accredited by the Association for Counselling and Therapy Online.

Can I access this service if I'm not living in the UK?

At the moment this service is only available to residents of the UK. 

Why do I only get six sessions?

Our bereavement service provides short-term support. If you feel that you need further support when you reach the end of your sessions with us, your counsellor will be able to discuss other options with you.

Is this service free?

Yes, this service is free to access by anyone who is struggling with grief and is funded entirely by donations.

If you would like to make a donation towards the cost of maintaining and delivering this service you can do so using this dedicated donation form.

How confidential is this service?

This is a confidential service. Members of the team abide by the data protection guidelines laid out in the Terms of Service and Sue Ryder’s Privacy Policy.

If you’d like to find out more the steps you can take to protect yourself online, visit Get Safe Online

If you are concerned about confidentiality or have any questions please email

What to expect from your sessions

What happens at my assessment?

Your assessment is an important step before you begin counselling sessions as it enables us to identify the best type of support for you. During your assessment your counsellor will ask for your details (including your GP details and an emergency contact), and further information about your current situation. The counsellor will also run through our Terms of Service and answer any questions you might have. At the end of the assessment you and your counsellor will agree the next step.

What will happen after my assessment?

If you and your counsellor agree that our bereavement service is best placed to support you then you will be able to book your first counselling session. We recommend that you book sessions weekly or, at most, fortnightly.

Why do you need my GP details?

We collect your GP details in the interest of your own safety. We may need to liaise with your GP about the care we’re providing and, in very rare circumstances, we may need to contact them if we feel there is a safeguarding issue.

We will not contact your GP without your prior permission, except in a situation where we feel there is a danger that you may harm yourself or others. Please see our Terms of Service for more information.

Where should I sit for my sessions?

We advise finding a quiet and private space in your home, where you can talk openly and won't be interrupted. 

Can I change my assessment time if I can no longer attend?

Yes, but we ask that you give us at least 48 hours’ notice so we can make the assessment available to someone else who needs it.

Help and troubleshooting

What happens if I can't join the video call?

If you are not able to join the video call for your session, please email us as soon as possible at We can then help with any issues you’re experiencing or arrange for your counsellor to call you on the number you registered with.

Your counsellor will not call you unless we know that you’re trying to attend your session.

What happens if there are problems with the video or sound during my session?

If a problem arises during a session your counsellor will call you on the number you registered with and continue your session over the phone.

How can I get support with my video or sound?

Please visit our troubleshooting page for support with common issues.

Alternatively, get in touch with us at and we will do what we can to help.

Contact us

If you have a question that's not been answered here please email