Counselling and support services with Keltic Coaching and Counselling
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place each year between 9 – 15 October and this year we have been considering the support available to families affected by baby loss and the challenges to their mental health, trying to cope with the trauma and grief of the loss of their baby.
Unfortunately, as around 50% of stillbirths are avoidable, we represent a number of families affected by baby loss and see the strains on their mental health. At Wolferstans, whilst we provide specialist legal advice and pursue medical negligence claims following the loss of a baby, we are keen to ensure that our clients are fully supported and receive the support they require.
Sharon Stallard of Keltic Coaching & Counselling is a Life Coach and Counsellor, who has been working with clients for over 15 years. Sharon is passionate about supporting others to improve their lives and helping people to develop their own inner resources and emotional resilience skills, and volunteers as a bereavement counsellor.
Sharon is aware of the high risk of PTSD and other associated mental health disorders for parents following the death of their baby, and this can often go undetected for a number of years. What many mothers do not consider is the fact that they can also still suffer from post-partum depression following a stillbirth and this can manifest into long term mental health disorders without the correct support.
Sharon has identified that there is little support available to parents in this situation, and whilst there are a number of superb charities supporting stillbirth, a skilled professional is often a real aid for parents once they are ready to seek help.
Whilst Sharon does provide bereavement counselling, this comes a little further down the line following the initial loss, and she is keen to make parents aware of the fact that general support is available in a less formal setting and without the need of a title, to simply help parents understand their emotional state and to come to terms with what has happened. Emotions will run very high following the loss of a baby, or following any bereavement, and this is masked by a number of feelings such as anger, sadness, depression, a feeling of failure and sheer grief. This also puts undoubted pressure on relationships during such a crucial time and without any means of an outlet for these emotions, it can be difficult to support each other at this time.
The aim of early support from a bereavement counsellor is to provide a confidential space where these overwhelming feelings can be talked about and to reduce the isolation in grief. By talking to someone outside of the situation, there are no judgements and this support can help to normalise emotions and enable the bereaved to work out some coping strategies to help them through day to day. Without that support, the grief and trauma can lead to mental and physical illness.
Keltic Coaching & Counselling is based in Plymouth and Sharon has a treatment room within a local independent funeral directors.
Sharon is launching a bereavement drop in within the funeral directors for those a little further down the line following their grief, to provide a relaxed environment and allow people to share their experiences and receive skilled support. She hopes that they will become informed sessions and lead to the development of a service whereby a funeral directors and counselling service work together to meet the needs of those who are bereaved.
It is clear that baby loss and mental health hold such an unnecessary stigma. At Wolferstans we support families suffering from the loss of their baby and witness their psychiatric injury. Seeking help can be very difficult, but by receiving specialist support to help to process the immediate emotions, and if necessary by following that up with counselling or mental health support is so important and a message supported by Keltic Coaching & Counselling.
The impact on families following the loss of a baby is devastating and Wolferstans are supporting Baby Loss Awareness Week.
If you feel that you require additional support following the loss of a baby, contact Sharon Stallard:
Keltic Coaching and Counselling
t: 07766 800575