Loss and Grief - Support Groups

Family Caregiving September 23, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Support groups can be very helpful since they bring together people with a common bond to share and encourage one another. There are many different types of support groups, with different formats and sizes. The common thread is that you’re all there to have a safe place to share your struggles, losses, hopes and successes with others who share a similar life experience. We know that for many people, talking helps. Listening helps as well, since helping others often enables you to better understand your own feelings. This is especially true of support groups for people who have lost a loved one.

Even if you seem to be handling grief well, you still might benefit from the caring friendship a support group can offer. And, you may also gain from helping others. If you’re unsure whether a support group is right for you, you might consider trying a meeting and seeing if it’s a good fit.

There are a number of places to go to find a support group. Most hospices offer grief support groups, so you could check with a local hospice. A local mental health center may also offer grief support groups, as do some churches and hospitals.

The healing process following the death of a loved one is unique for everyone. It’s a process that involves times when you need to be alone with your grief, and times for sharing and support. As you reach out to others for support you realize that you need not be alone with your sorrow.

For more information see:

  • The Understanding Your Grief Support Group Guide: Starting and Leading a Bereavement Support Group (2004) by Alan Wolfelt

Adapted with permission from GriefWorks, Sam Quick, Professor Emeritus, Human Development and Family Relations Specialist, Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service.



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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.