New research published by Let’s Talk About Loss reveals 77% of 18-35 year olds are bereaved

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Today, Let’s Talk About Loss is publishing a press release showing that over three quarters of UK 18-35-year-olds have experienced grief and over a third feel uncomfortable talking about it.

Key points:

  • Over three quarters (77%) of UK 18–35-year-olds surveyed revealed that they have experienced loss or the death of someone in their lives.
  • Two-fifths (39%) of 18–35-year-olds feel uncomfortable talking about death and loss with others.
  • Talking to people who have had similar experiences is the mechanism that 18-35s feel would most ease the process of talking to others about death and loss (38%).
  • Male 18-35s surveyed were more likely to feel that talking to people from the same or similar backgrounds (37%) and/or other men (22%) was important in easing the process of talking about death and loss compared to women.

A survey conducted by UK grief support charity Let’s Talk About Loss, supported by Opinium, has found that over three quarters (77%) of UK 18-35-year-olds have experienced the death of someone in their lives, and two fifths (39%) of the same age group feel uncomfortable talking about grief with others.

Let’s Talk About Loss was set up by Beth French after she lost her mum in 2015 when she was 20 years old. It offers peer-led support sessions across the UK specifically for 18-35-year-olds.

Amongst 18–35-year-olds who have experienced a loss, talking to friends (49%) and family (47%) were selected as the most common ways of expressing or dealing with grief. Alongside this, 43% of young grievers surveyed felt that talking to people who have had similar experiences of grief would ease the process of talking about loss.

Since 2018, Let’s Talk About Loss has been running meet up groups across the UK where young people aged 18-35 who have been bereaved can meet others in a similar situation.

Emma, from Exeter, said that joining her local meet up group “really made me realise that although grief is so unique, young grievers have so much in common.”

Of the 593 18–35-year-old respondents surveyed, two-fifths (40%) reported that they have experienced loss of an immediate family member, 38% have lost an extended family member, 16% have lost a close friend and 15% reported losing someone else in their life.

As well as location-based events for young grievers to meet up locally, Let’s Talk About Loss also runs ‘themed meet ups’ centred around types of loss, to connect young grievers who have lost the same person or experienced the same type of bereavement. For example, on Father’s Day each year there is a meet up for anyone who has lost a father-figure and recently an ‘addiction loss’ group met to connect people who have lost someone to addiction.

As well as meet ups, Let’s Talk About Loss offers spaces where people can creatively express their grief, including a Bereavement Book Club and a Creative Writing About Loss group and before Christmas worked with illustrator Gary Andrews to run a Christmas grief draw-a-long event.

In 2022, Let’s Talk About Loss will launch Men Talk About Loss – a campaign specifically encouraging men to talk about grief.

The survey found that 18-35 year old men (37%) were more likely than women (28%) to feel that talking to people from the same or similar backgrounds was important in easing the process of talking about death. One-fifth of men in this age group (22%) feel that talking specifically to other men about grief would help them to open up.

Liam, from Hertfordshire, said “Being a man and going through the process of grief has its own set of challenges. It adds an extra layer of judgement when it comes to opening up, and that’s something I’ve had a hard time with since day one.”

Beth French, Founder and Director of Let’s Talk About Loss said, “With 77% of respondents reporting that they had experienced loss, the need for targeted support for young grievers has never been more apparent. There are fantastic charities offering grief support for children and adults, but it is clear that the 18-35 age range needs specific peer support, where young grievers can chat to others who have had a similar experience.”

“I firmly believe that our relaxed, safe spaces sit perfectly alongside other forms of grief support such as speaking to a trained bereavement counsellor, chatting with family and friends about the person you’ve lost and speaking to your GP or a helpline when things feel tough. With our creative services providing alternative outlets for processing loss, we are proud of the work we do at Let’s Talk About Loss to ensure that no young griever grieves alone.”

Any statistics or quotes used from this press release must be attributed to Let’s Talk About Loss.

Just £5 can help us provide more support to young grievers, to help them talk about loss.

As we seek to grow and offer all 18-35 year olds the chance to come to a meet up in their local area, we need to fundraise, so one of the best ways you can support us is financially!