HHHS helping people heal through Grief Support Group

By Nate Smelle

Published Feb. 15 2018

For many individuals grieving the loss of a loved one can be a painfully lonely experience.

Starting this month Haliburton Highlands Health Services is launching a pair of grief support groups designed to help people cope with this type of profound suffering.

HHHS’s hospice co-ordinator Amanda Rowden said the groups will meet twice a month with the first session taking place on the first Wednesday of every month at the Minden hospital auditorium from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. The second session will be held in the Ruth Parkes Room at the Haliburton hospital on the second Wednesday of every month from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

Rowden highlighted several ways that grief support groups can help people through challenging times.

“The loss of a loved one can leave you feeling isolated” explained Rowden.

“These groups are primarily peer-to-peer support. It is certainly helpful for someone who is struggling to not feel alone.”

Grief support groups like the ones facilitated by HHHS offer participants emotional support in a safe and non-judgmental environment.

Rowden indicated that they also provide people with reassurance that they are not alone in their struggle by connecting them with others who are also going through the healing process.

The groups will also teach participants coping skills and help them to discover and create a new sense of feeling normal while honouring the past.

“My hope is that the community members will come together and share their stories coping mechanisms and support to help each other through their grief journeys.”

Rowden said the program is accessible to anyone who wishes to participate since there is no charge for joining either of the groups.

Understanding that not everyone feels comfortable dealing with their grief in a group setting Rowden said it is important for people to know that HHHS provides other types of support.

For instance she said they offer one-on-one sessions with a social worker and/or help connecting people with Haliburton Highlands Mental Health Services. For more information about the grief support groups and the HHHS’s resources and services visit them online at  www.hhhs.ca; or contact Amanda Rowden at 705-457-2941 ext. 2932; or by email: arowden@hhhs.ca.