Are you looking for community grief support? Have you recently lost a loved one or someone close to you as a caregiver? Are you finding it hard to handle the grief on your own? Do you need a shoulder to lean on or grief counseling? Are you looking for referrals for grief support programs? If you have answered yes to all of these questions, you have come to the right place.
Hi. My name is Sean Galla, a support group facilitator with more than 10 years of experience. I have facilitated dozens of support groups, including community grief support programs. The loss of a loved one can change your whole life, and I have seen firsthand how being part of a grief support group can help you through the mourning process and help you find healing. If you are finding it hard after losing a loved one, becoming part of a community grief support program can be one of the best decisions you make today.
In this article, all your questions about community grief support will be answered. You will also get recommendations from the best bereavement support communities.
Table of Contents:
What is Community Grief Support?
Grief impacts different people differently. One of the most recommended ways of dealing with grief is through open sharing. Community grief support is a form of support offered to grieve people under grief support programs and groups. It is referred to as a community because these groups comprise individuals going through grief who come together to share their journey, give hope to one another and offer support to each other through the grieving phase of their life.
Community grief support is not used as a substitute for individual counseling or professional care for more serious issues like depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions that can occur as a result of grief. Rather, community support is recommended alongside professional help to improve a person’s chances of recovering from grief.
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How Community Grief Support Works
Community grief support is offered in groups operated on the idea that sharing emotions and thoughts with other people in the same situation. This is done to provide comfort and a sense of belonging, which is an important part of the healing heart process.
Community Grief support groups meet regularly where discussions and group activates are moderated by professional facilitators, a grief counselor or group volunteers.
During these counseling sessions, the group members are encouraged to voice their thoughts, challenges, emotions, and stories about their loved ones to help other members. Some groups invite guest speakers who can be professional grief counselors, a non-profit grief support group,s or other people who have previously gone through loss and found a way to heal and continue living.
Common topics discussed in grief support groups include:
- Going through the firsts after a loss (first birthday, first holiday)
- Depression and mental health issues related to loss
- How to handle the possessions of your loved one
- Stages of grief
- Managing memories and flashbacks
- Holding a memorial service
- Sleep deprivation
- The feeling of emptiness
- Dealing with grief
- Complicated grief
- Coping and self-care
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Community Grief Support Groups
When you lose someone you love, be it a family member or a close friend, it can be difficult to talk to your family or friends about the effect of the loss in your life. You try not to burden them with your emotions.
When facing grief alone, some people can turn to vices that can lead to addiction as a way of dealing with the trauma. Joining a community support group ensures you have a place to share, listen, and learn healthy coping mechanisms to help you through your loss.
Dealing with the loss of a loved one is one of the most difficult things anyone has to deal with. Different people deal with the loss of a loved one in different ways. Every day many people dealing with loss are advised to join community grief, support groups.
Grief support services offer a safe place to share, express feelings, and find support to heal from a loss. A grief support group is a place where you get to be around other people who have recently experienced loss and thus understand what you are going through.
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Why Should You Join a Community Grief Support Group?
In today’s culture, people are forced to bottle up their emotions and move on as the best self-help way of dealing with grief. However, it is not possible to skip the emotional steps that lead to healing from loss. Burying your feelings only makes life more difficult after the loss of a loved one.
After the loss of a family member, pet loss, parent loss, or close friend, your everyday life is utterly changed, and you are forced to change plans and start living the absence of the person or thing you lost.
The pain you go through is characterized by deep grief, which can make it increasingly difficult for you to cope with the changes in your life.
Everyone needs a peer support system when faced with bereavement. This is the best way to get through the grief journey and find a healthy way of preserving the memory of the lost loved ones. While having the support services of your family and friends is important, they will not always be there to support you or fully understand your grief. In addition, they are not experts in behavioral health, which requires a health professional. Sometimes, they, too, are dealing with their own grief. This is why a grief support group is important.
A grief community grief support program is a safe space where you can share your stories, challenges, and pitfalls related to loss without fear of judgment, ridicule, or misunderstanding. It has been proved that being part of a grief share group will make you feel more at peace and embrace the grieving process as part of your healing journey. You will also feel less lonely, and you can foster great connections with other members of the group. Being part of a grief support group can help you cope with your loss and manage your everyday life better after your loss.
Some of the free services you will get from a community grief support group include:
- The chance to adapt to new routines that keep the memory of your loved ones present in your heart and mind without affecting your quality of life
- A chance to start your healing process by sharing your story
- Learning from other people’s experiences
- Emotional support in a non-judgmental and safe environment
- Understanding from members who have gone through a similar loss
- Coping skills that can help you through the most challenging days in your grief journey
- An understanding of how different people deal with loss and how you can help them as they help you
- Permission to grieve and express your emotions and struggles through the healing process.
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Making the Most From a Community Grief Support Program
As with most firsts in life, the most difficult part about coping with loss is taking the first step to finding healing. Joining a community grief support group is one of the most important steps you can take. Once you are in the group, your participation and willingness to share and find healing will determine how well your healing process goes and how beneficial it is to you.
Join the right community
The first step towards healing is ensuring you join the right community grief support programs. There are numerous support groups for bereaved people. Some offer a general approach to loss while others are more specific to the loss of a parent, loss of a spouse, loss or a child, loss of a close friend, and even loss of a pet.
Some groups like mensgroup.com offer online support to men going through loss while other groups offer physical meetings. Most groups have an open helpline where members can call and talk to someone whenever they want. It is important to consider your needs before joining a grief support group to ensure you make the right choice.
Remain committed to the meetings
You are more likely to benefit from community grief support when you put aside your outside distractions and focus on being part of the meeting. This is the best way to focus on your feelings and that of the members around you to help them and yourself.
Always make it to the meetings on time and stay through to the end to get the maximum benefits of being part of the process. The best thing about community grief support is that you do not have to share until you are ready. Being an active listener to other members is also a great way of supporting the group.
Allow yourself to heal
For grief support to work for you, you need to allow yourself to heal from your trauma. Part of the healing process is sharing your feelings in the group meeting and allowing yourself to be vulnerable and get support from the group. The group can only work if you put in the work.
The Best Community Grief Support Programs to Join
SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voice of Education)
SAVE is a grief support group resource and suicide prevention group for people who have lost their loved ones to suicide. It gives you access to the best bereavement services for your needs and arms you with coping skills to help you through your grief process to find healing. You will be in the company of others who have lost loved ones to suicide. This gives you a safe space to share, learn, and find healing from your suicide loss. SAVE gives you a platform to share your story to help others going through the same situation.
The grief recovery method
This grief support group facilitates workshops for people dealing with loss and grief. They help you to learn coping skills and arm you with the necessary tools you need to get through the grieving process. The grief center will help you work through your grief emotions to regain a sense of purpose and hope in life. You will also learn how you can use your experience to help others going through loss.
If you are a man going through loss and grief, Men’s Group is a men-only online support group for you.
At mensgroup.com, men are allowed to share their fears and emotions related to the loss of a loved one. It offers a safe space for widowers and even young adults to vent and find healing without fear of judgment or ridicule.
You will be in the company of other men who have also gone through loss and have managed to find healing through loss support. By being in this community, you learn healthy coping skills and how to continue living a positive and successful life even after a loss. You are not alone. This online grief support community can be the best choice to avert a health crisis related to loss, especially if you cannot make it to an in-person group.
Grieving is a process that takes time to go through. By joining a community grief support group or loss group, you allow yourself to come to terms with the loss of your loved one in the company of the compassionate friends in the group. This is the first step to finding healing.
At mensgroup.com, you will find a healthy environment to cope with your loss. The members of the grief support group in MensGroup are eager and ready to help you through your grieving process. It is still possible to lead a happy and healthy life after losing a loved one, and mensgroup.com will show you how.
*Sources: 1. What is good grief support? Exploring the actors and actions in social support after traumatic grief 2. Effectiveness of bereavement counselling through a community‐based organization: A naturalistic, controlled trial 3. The Benefits of Healing With Grief Support Groups 4. Online Grief Support Communities: Therapeutic Benefits of Membership 5. Community Grief Resources and Events