Experiences of bereavement following the death of animals
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Experiences of bereavement following the death of animals

Bronwen Williams Mental health training team leader, 2gether NHS Foundation Trust, Redwings Horse Sanctuary
Rebecca Green Veterinary surgeon, Stocks Veterinary Practice, Worcestershire

Bronwen Williams and Rebecca Green discuss the types of grief experienced by people whose animals have died, and how mental health professionals can assess and support them by understanding their relationship and significance

The human-animal relationship has been much studied over recent years, but little attention has been paid to the effects of the death of animals on people. Grief following the death of an animal can be significant, yet such reactions can be viewed by friends, families, professionals and society as abnormal. Problematic and complex grief in animal owners is rare, but it can be compounded by a lack of understanding from others.

Mental Health Practice. 19, 9, 29-33. doi: 10.7748/mhp.19.9.29.s21

Correspondence

bron_wizview@yahoo.co.uk

Peer review

This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 30 July 2015

Accepted: 11 November 2015