Sudden is a charitable service providing help from day one onwards to people bereaved by an unexpected and often horrifying and sudden death, due to COVID-19, suicide, natural disaster, war, terrorism, an incident at work or outdoors, or any other cause.
The service aims to protect people’s safety and wellbeing during their darkest hours; at a time of shock, turmoil, distress and personal disaster.
Suddenly-bereaved people are assigned a dedicated Sudden caseworker, who helps down the line (by phone and other virtual means due to the pandemic), for up to ten weeks. Bereaved people often reach the Sudden service through referrals from hospitals, GPs and police; and can also contact Sudden directly for free by calling 0800 2600 400 or via our website – Get Help.
Sudden caseworkers provide emotional support and aim to meet bereaved people’s practical, social and health needs, often seeking out and delivering care in partnership with multiple community agencies. Caseworkers often seek out care that is urgently needed due to a pre-existing or emerging acute problem, for example relating to a bereaved person’s age, illness, disability, poverty, lack of housing, or other risk factor, such as English as a second or other language. Caseworkers also help identify arising symptoms of mental health conditions, including Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and seek appropriate and timely mental health assessment and treatment.
Sudden is not-for-profit and hosted by the charity Brake, which has a wealth of expertise in supporting people bereaved in shocking and distressing circumstances from day one onwards. Brake’s acclaimed and accredited National Road Victim Service helps thousands of people bereaved and injured by road crashes. It was set up in 1995 by Chief Executive Mary Williams OBE.
The Sudden service was launched in July 2020 after being awarded vital pandemic funding from the Government, the National Lottery Community Fund and Barclays, in recognition of Brake’s expertise in provision of early intervention care for people bereaved in unexpected and horrific circumstances.