Andrew Langford

a langford  student card photo  aug

Health and Wellbeing (2021 cohort)

Over 500,000 people die in the UK annually (ONS, 2020).   Five people are adversely affected by each death, and need some form of support (Harrop, et al, 2020). A majority are able to adjust successfully, over time, to their loss (Sauteraud, 2018).  For others, grieving is more problematic, although psychological interventions can help (Shear and Shaire, 2005). The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in increased numbers of people seeking formal support due to the suddenness of death from Covid-19 (Tzung-Jeng et al, 2020) and the lack of usual informal structures of support (Independent Age, 2020). Organisations providing emotional support in bereavement have switched from in-person emotional support to online and telephone support – the latter being predominant (Penny and Neumann, 2021). This switch has resulted in decreased waiting times and increasing access.  Bereavement services plan to expand telephone bereavement support post-pandemic.

However, there is little evidence on the impact of telephone support, and the National Bereavement Alliance highlighting the need for further research to ensure its effectiveness, appropriateness and acceptability in supporting bereaved adults (Penny, 2020).

My research aims to explore how bereavement support delivered by telephone supports (or not) bereaved adults in coping with grief.   Mixed methods will be used in the form of online questionnaires and semi-structured interviews.  Participants will be adults over the age of 18 in England, Northern Ireland and Wales, who have accessed bereavement support services, and opted to for telephone support. I will aim to use evidence generated to make recommendations on how bereavement support delivered by telephone can best be provided to support bereaved adults. I will use my professional networks to disseminate these recommendations, and collaborate with colleagues across the voluntary, public and private sectors. 

I have over twenty years’ experience working in the voluntary sector, and am currently the Clinical Director of Cruse Bereavement Care – the UK’s largest bereavement support charity.  My responsibility is to ensure that bereaved people in England, Northern Ireland and Wales get the support they need.  My clinical expertise has developed through extensive training in counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, on-line/remote therapy and life coaching, and in the subjects of trauma, mental health and suicide prevention.  I am also an accredited counsellor with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy.  I also have an MSc with Cass Business School, in Voluntary Sector Management.  This mix has helped me develop a combined micro and macro view of support services, in terms of how individuals relate to services and how services relate to people.

I currently run my own small private counselling practice, and provide training and consultancy for organisations, focusing on suicide prevention, suicide risk management and emotional resilience.