For some time it has been recognised that death and non-death loss events are commonly associated with the onset of psychiatric illnesses, especially affective conditions (e.g. Murphy, 1982). Studies have shown that counselling targeted at high risk grievers can significantly reduce their psychological and psychosomatic manifestations of grief, with an associated reduction in the use of statutory services (Raphael, 1977; Parkes, 1980). Bereavement counselling thus offers one of the few opportunities to implement preventive psychiatry.
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