Mental health help for funeral directors staff

Terry Tennens, chief executive of The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors.
Terry Tennens, chief executive of The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors.

Funeral directors David Townsend from H C Townsend and Son Ltd and Peter Dowkes from Falsgrave Funeral Services have welcomed the introduction of a new service which is promoting good mental health in the funeral profession.

The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), which represents over 850 independent funeral directors including 15 in North Yorkshire, has revealed that more than one in three funeral directors could be in need of counselling support.

David Townsend from H C Townsend and Son said: “Funeral directors can be affected by the stress and anxiety which stems from working long, unsocial hours with disrupted sleep patterns. We spend a lot of our time supporting bereaved families during the most difficult time of their lives but we often neglect our own wellbeing, so the service offered by SAIF is something we may use.”

Terry Tennens, chief executive of SAIF, said: “These are family owned funeral businesses which have given a personal funeral service to their local communities for generations but this kind of work can really take its toll. Counselling has been available for some time to emergency services personnel, but before SAIFSupport, there was nothing in place for funeral directors.”