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Survey highlights mental health concerns

A new survey has raised concerns for independent funeral directors mental health as it is revealed over a third (38 percent) have experienced stress or anxiety at work with nearly one in ten needing counselling support.

The poll was conducted in April by the National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF) with 130 independent funeral directors took part.

Terry Tennens, chief executive of SAIF, commented: “Funeral directors take care of anyone who walks through their door during a difficult time of bereavement – apart from themselves. The emotional stress inherent in the job, combined with the long and often unsocial hours, is something many independent funeral directors experience daily.

“Historically, there has been very little counselling support available to funeral directors in the industry which is why SAIF is leading the way in raising awareness of this issue.”

SAIF has launched SAIFSupport, a confidential counselling service for its members which provides free telephone and email contact with a qualified counsellor.

Terry Tennens added: “With SAIFSupport our members can now discuss in confidence anything that is concerning them. Good mental health is as important as good physical health and we are very pleased to be able to offer this service for our members who, in turn, provide such a valuable support service to families in times of bereavement.”

Catherine Betley, from Professional Help, who provides the SAIFSupport counselling service, added: “Providing emotional support for funeral directors is not something people would immediately think is necessary. However, it is a very challenging industry to work in and it is essential that there is support in place for those who need it.”



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