Course Overview


This Course reviews the theoretical and conceptual foundations of the experience of loss and grief and provides a guide for the practical assistance for people who have experienced loss, and those who support them.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the common signs and symptoms of grief
  • Critically describe two contemporary models of grief
  • Describe the strategies for supporting those that are experiencing grief
  • Identify the specific needs of certain groups of grieving persons
  • Explain the risks posed to those providing support to people that are grieving, and describe strategies to promote professional coping

Topics include:

  • What is grief?
  • Facts and myths
  • Physical and psychological manifestations of grief
  • Two contemporary models of grief
  • When grief becomes complicated
  • Ground rules for health professionals supporting those who are grieving
  • Strategies for supporting those in your care – and their families – as they grieve
  • Supporting grief brought about by losses that do not involve a death
  • Strategies for looking after yourself

Target audience

All health professionals in all areas of professional practice.


Explore the nature of grief and how it manifests, and provide health professionals with an outline of the fundamental principles required to support those that are experiencing grief, regardless of the loss.


Health professionals – in both their personal and professional roles – are constantly confronted with loss and grief. In many cases it can be an especially intense experience, as the grief of those in care – and their families – is also a grief experienced by the person caring for them. It is important that – whatever the cause of the loss – it is understood that grief is very real to the individual and, as health professionals; we are in a unique position to reduce the impact of this grief on all concerned. However, such support is not without cost, and throughout this experience, health professionals need to understand not just the needs of those experiencing loss, but how they relate to – and cope with – that loss themselves.

Health professionals in Australia that are registered with AHPRA are required to obtain continuing professional development (CPD) hours/points each year that relates to their context of practice, in order to comply with mandatory regulatory requirements.