National Grief Awareness Day is a significant observance held annually on August 30th, dedicated to shedding light on the complex and universal experience of grief. The core mission of this day is to foster understanding and compassion among people while creating a safe and supportive environment for individuals who have experienced loss.

Grief, a natural response to various life-altering events, such as the passing of a loved one or other significant changes, can often be misunderstood or overlooked in society. However, by dedicating a day to grief awareness, communities and organisations aim to break the silence surrounding this emotional journey and encourage open conversations about its impact on individuals’ lives.

On National Grief Awareness Day, various activities and initiatives are organised to educate the public about the multifaceted aspects of grief. Workshops, seminars, and online events are conducted to provide valuable information on coping strategies, the stages of grief, and the importance of supporting those who are grieving. By spreading awareness and knowledge, the day aims to dispel misconceptions and stigmas, fostering empathy and understanding for those navigating the grieving process.

Furthermore, National Grief Awareness Day serves as a reminder to employers and organisations to extend their support to employees who may be experiencing grief. Recognising that grief can profoundly impact an individual’s emotional well-being and productivity, employers are encouraged to create a compassionate and accommodating work environment. Offering bereavement leave, flexible work arrangements, and access to counselling resources can make a significant difference in helping employees cope with their loss while maintaining their professional commitments.

Ways organisations and employers can get involved and support their employees who are experiencing grief:

  1. Create a Supportive Workplace Culture: Foster a workplace culture that acknowledges the importance of mental health and encourages open communication about personal struggles, including grief. Promote empathy and understanding among colleagues.
  2. Offer Bereavement Leave: Provide paid or unpaid bereavement leave to employees who have experienced the loss of a loved one. This time off allows them to grieve, attend memorial services, and take care of necessary arrangements without added stress about work responsibilities.
  3. Flexible Work Arrangements: Offer flexible work arrangements to employees dealing with grief. This might include remote work options, flexible hours, or reduced workloads for a certain period.
  4. Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs): Implement Employee Assistance Programs that provide access to counseling, support groups, and resources to help employees cope with grief and other emotional challenges.
  5. Train Managers and Supervisors: Provide training to managers and supervisors to help them recognise signs of grief and offer appropriate support to grieving employees. This might involve being understanding, showing compassion, and being flexible with work demands during difficult times.
  6. Grief Support Workshops and Resources: Organise workshops or bring in grief counsellors to educate employees about grief and its impact. Offer resources, reading materials, and information on coping strategies for grieving individuals.
  7. Encourage Open Communication: Encourage employees to communicate their needs and emotions openly. Let them know that it is okay to talk about their grief and that they have support from the organisation.

Workplace Wellbeing Professional & Grief

It goes without saying, at some point in our lives, we all have endure the difficult process of grief. Employers need to be aware they may need to support an employee who is going through the grieving process, and offer assistance in a way that is right for the individual.

You can find some recent news stories relating to workplace grief  below (with many more to be found under the Topic Index):

Take a look at some exclusive feature articles contributed by mental health and wellbeing experts (with many more to be found under the Topic Index):

Further reading and resources

Editor at Workplace Wellbeing Professional | Website | + posts

Joanne is the editor for Workplace Wellbeing Professional and has a keen interest in promoting the safety and wellbeing of the global workforce. After earning a bachelor's degree in English literature and media studies, she taught English in China and Vietnam for two years. Before joining Work Well Pro, Joanne worked as a marketing coordinator for luxury property, where her responsibilities included blog writing, photography, and video creation.