Conference 2021

It’s a Long Journey – The length and complexity of prolonged grief.

This Zoom Conference Webinar took place on Wednesday 20th October. After a brief introduction by Judy Silverton (Chair, Conference Planning Group), the first of the speakers began with a short PowerPoint. Dr. Robert Freudenthal is a registrar in psychiatry, currently completing the final year of his training in general adult and old age psychiatry in North London. He is also pursuing further training at the institute of Group Analysis and has facilitated psychotherapy, reflective practice and psycho-education groups. He has worked in a variety of NHS mental health settings, including psychosis, personality disorder, eating disorder, older adult, and crisis services. Rob is also chair of Kehillah North London synagogue and is acutely aware of the key role community organisations have in protecting our mental health.

After the presentation, conversation with Judy Silverton and Q & A session, there was a short interval, marking 40 years of bereavement support in the local area.

This was followed by two presentations. The Revd. Giles Pinnock is the Head of Spiritual & Pastoral Care at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. He is the Roman Catholic Archbishop’s Advisor on Health and Wellbeing in the Diocese of Westminster. He spoke about the role of  Hospital Chaplains; in particular, noting that in this setting, there is less emphasis on prolonged grief, but more on the immediacy of support (often at very short notice). Events surrounding deaths in hospitals are often related to sudden and unexpected circumstances, and therefore grief may indeed take some considerable time to be addressed.

Sharon Merchant is Child Bereavement UK’s Regional Lead for the London Region. Prior to working for Child Bereavement UK, Sharon was Counselling Lead at Harlington Hospice. Her contribution considered grief from the perspective of a child/young person. Involving them in the death of a sibling, parent, family member or friend from the early stages of bereavement is important, even if their understanding of the events may not be fully realised until many years later.

Angela Atkins (a member of the Conference Planning Group) led the Q & A session that followed.  The event was completed with a short message from Bereavement Care’s Vice-chair, Bobbi Riesel; and a Reflection from former Chair of Bereavement Care, Jack Lynes.


You are welcome to view the Conference Webinar here. If you were a delegate on the day, you will have paid (£25 / £35) to be part of the “live” audience. However, if you are viewing for the first time, a donation towards the work of Bereavement Care would be much appreciated. You can donate using the DONATE button at the top right-hand corner of our web-site. Thank you.