All posts in “bereavement”

Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing

Group Name: Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing

Description: As with everything there is a beginning, a middle and an end. The history of Grief Recovery After Substance Passing (GRASP) actually comes in the middle. The beginning, of course, was the tragically early demise in 1994 at age twenty of our youngest daughter, Jennifer Caroline. After five years of struggling to overcome addictions, her body said,”enough” with a final misdose of heroin. There are many excellent support organizations that help grieving parents, partners, siblings and children in all manner of deaths but not one to address the addictions of substances whether it is alcohol, prescriptions or illicit drugs. To many it is not realized or accepted that addictions are as much a disease as any other medical illness. A misconception is that overdose deaths are suicides. In most cases this is simply not true. With this in mind, coupled by needing to be specific, plus helping others to cope with all that grief entails, the name became – Grief Recovery After Substance Passing or GRASP.

Some may ask: “What difference does it make? Help is help. Sympathy is sympathy.” Those who know, will answer: “The difference is in the faces of other parents.” The shifting to space themselves apart physically and emotionally. The silent response…. or even….. The spoken, “My child was good and didn’t deserve to die!” Which implies that all those who succumb to drugs of varying kinds deserved to leave this earth? And family — especially parents — must be as bad (oh yes, imperfect parents) to have seen and allowed this death to happen. At the meeting one can find solace, support and empathy among friends and family of people who share the same experience. There is no fees and it is a peer to peer group.

Where: 8502 E. Chapman Avenue, #156 | Orange, CA 92869

When: Every Wednesday from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. Please contact for Toronto meeting location

Contact: Andrea Rokis 647-274-3224 | grasptoronto@gmail |

416 Community Support for Women Invites You To: Grief & Bereavement

Explore and engage in meaningful discussion, education and advocacy related to dying, death and grief. This workshop is led by nurse psychotherapist, educator and thanatologist Andrea Warnick. This event is open to the public – men and women.

When: Thursday, February 19th at 2:45 p.m.

Where: 40 Oak Street, Toronto, in the Rogers Room. Please RSVP to Elena at or 416 964-6936 Ext. 222 or visit us online.

Bernard Betel Centre – Grief and Bereavement Support

Group Name: Bernard Betel Centre – Grief and Bereavement Support

Description: The Bernard Betel Centre is committed to empowering seniors to lead active, creative and healthy lifestyles in a Jewish environment.
In 1965, with support from UJA Federation, the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) formed the Creative Living Program for seniors who were able to plan and implement their own activities with help from volunteers.

Are you experiencing grief and sadness from losing a loved one and you’re not sure where to turn? The Grief and Bereavement Support Group will run weekly for 10 weeks, and will be facilitated by Marina Hazan, BSW. This group will help you to understand the morning process, validate and normalize the emotions associated with loss, provide opportunity to share your experiences and learn new skills for coping with loss, provide a sense of belonging and support, and nurture self-esteem. *** Registration is required and there is no cost.

Where: 1003 Steeles Ave. W. | Toronto, ON M2R 3T6

When: Wednesday, July 8th – September 16th, 2015 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Contact: Katie Giles 416-225-2112 Ext. 126 | |

Hazel Burns Hospice – Bereavement Support

Group Name: Hazel Burns Hospice

Description: Hazel Burns Hospice strives to empower those suffering from a life limiting illness, and their families, to live better until they die. The journey faced by those suffering from a life limiting illness can be the most difficult one they will ever have to cope with. We at Hazel Burns Hospice offer support to the terminally ill and their families on this most difficult journey by:

  • Providing emotional and physical support by professional staff
  • Counseling the individual, family, or caregiver in coping with the challenges of ongoing changes and losses in daily living, and with the grieving process both the physical & emotional, and the mental impact before and after the death
  • The development of the skills needed for dealing with grief and loss
  • Offering caregiver Support Groups, which provide compassionate peer support with an educational component given by professionals in the community
  • Collaboration with other service providers to ensure continuity of care
  • Advocacy for needed services offered by the community
  • Respecting personal, cultural, religious beliefs, practices and values

We are committed to giving clients directed care, so they can maintain as much control as possible, keep their dignity and have a quality of life until death.

Please call regarding individual grief support. There is no cost and they serve primarily residents living in and around Keele St. and Eglinton Avenue West. Phone support for those who can’t travel to that location or help with finding other support.

Where: 2562 Eglinton Avenue West | Toronto, ON M6M 1T4

Contact: 416-782-5915 |

Family Service Toronto – Seniors and Caregivers Support

Group Name: Family Service Toronto – Seniors and Caregivers Support

Description: Family Service Toronto (FST) helps people face a wide variety of life challenges. For almost 100 years, we have been assisting families and individuals through counselling, community development, advocacy and public education programs. Our services are available to everyone who lives or works in Toronto.

The Seniors and Caregivers Support Service Unit at Family Service Toronto provides social work services to older people and caregivers. Our work includes counselling, group work, advocacy, training and educational sessions on a variety of topics such as aging and memory loss, anger and guilt, how to access community resources, abuse of older adults, etc.
You can come to our office for counselling, attend support groups or educational seminars, talk to a trained counsellor by telephone or, in exceptional circumstances, arrange for a home/community visit. We are able to provide counselling in English and Spanish. We provide counselling services for those facing issues such as:

  • Dealing with chronic or degenerative illness
  • Stress in family relationships
  • Bereavement
  • The uprootedness and difficulty of adapting to a new culture at an advanced age
  • Caregiver stress
  • Elder abuse

Where: 355 Church Street | Toronto, ON M5B 1Z8

When: Please call for more information.

Contact: 416-595-9618 | |

WoodGreen Community Services – Bereavement Group

Group Name: WoodGreen Community Services – Bereavement Group Support/Counselling

Description: Celebrating 75 years of success in 2012, WoodGreen Community Services is one of the largest social service agencies in Toronto. A founding United Way of Toronto member agency, WoodGreen has grown to span 32 locations and serves 37,000 people each year. WoodGreen helps people find safe, affordable housing, seniors live independently, internationally-trained professionals enter the job market, parents access childcare, children and youth access after-school programs, newcomers settle in to Canadian life, homeless and marginalized people get off the streets and youth find meaningful employment and training.

A team of social workers provide individual and group bereavement support to individuals or families (includes service referral, service navigation and coordination when required).

Where: 815 Danforth Avenue, First floor | Toronto, ON M4J 1L2

When: Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

Contact: 416-572-3575 | |

Better Living Health and Community Services – Widow Widowers Support

Group Name: Better Living Health and Community Services – Widow Widowers Support

Description: Better Living Health and Community Services has been delivering community support services in the Don Mills area since 1976. Their mission is to support individuals in our community in maintaining their independence, enhancing their social wellbeing, and optimizing their overall health and wellness through the provision of a wide range of community support services and leisure activities. They are committed to our mission by helping adults and seniors, at all stages, experience a better quality of life.

Widow Widowers Support Group: This is a facilitated group for widows and widowers. You do not have to be a member of the Better Living Health Community Centre. There is a $2 fee for refreshments. Anyone interested in attending this group meeting has to go through an interview before being accepted into the group.

Where: 1 Overland Drive | North York, ON M3C 2C3

When: Meets twice a month from 1:00 p.m until 3:00 p.m. Please call for details on the days.

Contact: Sandra Lewis 416-447-7244 Ext. 823 | |


Group Name: GriefShare

Description: GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help. You’ll gain access to valuable GriefShare resources to help you recover from your loss and look forward to rebuilding your life.

Who should come … who should not
GriefShare is for people grieving the death of a family member or friend. We understand that there are other losses in life that create feelings of grief. You might be experiencing a job loss, a divorce, estrangement from a child, or the loss of friends because of a move. This grief is real, but it is not the kind of grief discussed in GriefShare sessions. We encourage you to ask a pastor, counselor, or church leader for help in finding resources that will be of specific help in your situation.

Where: Please visit our Find a Group page for a location convenient to you.

Contact: 1-800-395-5755 | International: 1-919-562-2112 | |

Toronto Public Health – Healthy Families & Healthy Living Intake

Group Name: Toronto Public Health – Healthy Families & Healthy Living Intake

Description: To provide health education and community support for mothers-to-be and new parents. To provide support for parents who have experienced a stillbirth or the loss of a newborn.

Customer Service Representatives of Toronto Health Connection link callers to programs and services of the City of Toronto. Public Health Nurses of Healthy Families and Healthy Living Intake provide telephone health information and counselling and referrals to the Healthy Babies Healthy Children Program. Intake Registered Dieticians provide nutrition counselling and referrals to the Healthiest Babies Possible Program.

District Public Health Nurses provide parent education sessions at a variety of community locations. Public Health Nurses and Nutritionists collaborate on prenatal programs in the community.

Where: Support Programs Mothers-To-Be and New Parents | 5100 Yonge Street, 2nd Floor | Toronto, ON M2N 5V7

When: Call for more information.

Contact: 416-338-7600 |

Distress Centres – Survivors Support Program

Group Name: Distress Centres – Survivors Support Program

Description: Since 1967, as an initially modest outreach of a concerned group of community leaders, the Distress Centres has provided 24-hour telephone support, 365 days a year. Hundreds of thousands of calls later, this agency continues to offer round the clock response to those experiencing emotional distress or in need of crisis intervention and suicide prevention. We also provide face to face support and counseling to people dealing with the effects of suicide and homicide.

Any interested survivor should contact our program directly. An initial information-sharing session will be arranged at the earliest possible convenience. Following this interview, individuals or families are introduced to a team of two volunteer responders. One of the team members will be someone who has also experienced a death by suicide/homicide.

There are eight weekly sessions, held at one of several locations in Toronto. Each of these one- to two-hour meetings focuses on a topic specific to bereavement by suicide/homicide, with ample time provided to participants for discussion of their current situation. Once the individualized sessions are completed, survivors are invited to a series of group meetings. These provide participants with the opportunity to share and compare their own unique stories and reactions with those of other survivors. ** Participation in the program is free.

Where: Box 243, Adelaide P.O. | Toronto, ON M5C 2J4

Contact: 416-595-1716 | |

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