Here at Petals we understand the concerns that many bereaved parents, and healthcare professionals currently have about what the coronavirus outbreak will mean for the delivery of Petals’ baby loss counselling service, given that it relies so heavily on face to face contact.

 We also understand that many people are feeling anxious about the virus more generally, that our clients and counsellors may be feeling nervous about attending counselling sessions in a hospital setting in the current climate, and that our clients may be worried about the support we provide decreasing or becoming less accessible due to restrictions on travel and social interactions.

 Following the latest advice from the UK Government, as well as feedback from both clients and counsellors, we have given serious consideration to how we ensure we provide support for bereaved parents whilst at the same time acting responsibly during these challenging times.

 Our priority is to ensure that we are protecting both the mental and physical health and wellbeing of our clients, as well as that of our counsellors.

 Petals has therefore made the decision to temporarily pause all face to face counselling sessions, with secure online video sessions (via Zoom) being offered to all existing and newly referred clients as an alternative. This will ensure that those who would like to continue (or begin) their sessions can do so in the comfort and safety of their own home whilst maintaining meaningful and visual contact with their counsellor.

 All Petals counsellors will be contacting their clients this week to offer this alternative and provide detailed guidance about how it will work. There will be no face to face sessions after Friday 20 March until further notice.

 Petals will review these arrangements on a weekly basis. We hope that we will be able to return to normal service soon, but this will always depend heavily on the very latest medical advice.

 If you are currently receiving counselling from Petals and have any questions, please contact your counsellor directly.