The Diary of Dr. Sharon McDonnell

Aged 53 and 3/4

10th January 2021

Dear Diary

I am mindful of the thousands of people who have been recently been bereaved, during these unprecedented times.  So much has changed, due to COVID-19 and the government restrictions associated with it.  However, some things haven’t!   Such as, the bereaved families are still legally required to notify specific government agencies of the death.  Also, many additional organisations/people might need to be notified, even though it is not a legal requirement. 

This is an extremely difficult, emotionally charged, and labour intensive task for the bereaved.  Especially, as they have other competing priorities, (e.g. arranging the funeral etc) and are struggling to cope.  Often the bereaved don’t know who to contact or where to start.

In an attempt to address this unmet need, my colleagues and I have developed a death notification form for the bereaved, which provides a list of organisations that they may need to (or wish to) notify.  Please note, it is not an exhaustive list.  However, I am confident that this practical four page document, will be well received by the bereaved families and those who support them.

We have deliberately designed it in a way that it can be used/offered to anyone who is bereaved, regardless of the cause of death.  I would really appreciate it if you could help raise awareness of this important document, so that the bereaved can access this valuable resource.


  • Professionals and friends could signpost bereaved families to this notification form as soon as possible.    
  • Close friends of the bereaved family, might offer to help with this task.  This will help empower both the bereaved family and the friends who desperately want to help them.


I would really appreciate it if you would provide feedback about the notification form, on this post, as this will enable others, to understand the value/importance of this key resource.  Thank you.

That’s all for now.

Stay safe

Sharon x


Dr. Sharon McDonnell is the Managing Director of Suicide Bereavement UK


© Suicide Bereavement UK, 2021