Grief Support Programs – Journey now and through COVID.
With support from the Women’s Giving Collective, we’ve been able to support the original intentions of our grant. This included three key elements:
- To increase the availability of our Closed Group program – they’ve decreased the waiting list for this service by 40%-50% by providing two additional Closed Groups during 2019-2020;
- To increase capacity of our Group and Individual Grief Support Programs and encourage peer/community connections by hosting Peer Supporter Training Program annually – training has allowed more one-on-one peer support and open/closed sessions
- To lay the foundation of resilience for recently bereaved individuals through the development of an educational workshop, Understanding and Coping with Traumatic Bereavement, to be offered to new clients on a quarterly basis.
Heartache2Hope During COVID-19.
Heartache2Hope was not exempt in adapting and changing program delivery in light of COVID-19. We responded with a shift to providing all our supportive services online since the end of March. We know we need to do even more to stay connected with suicide loss grievers during this time of physical distancing and social isolation.
Our program adjustments related to COVID19 allow us to continue our supportive work and report that we accomplished all our goals with your financial support.
- In 2019, we provided support to over 230 individuals. Of these individuals, more than 90% were women (203). We saw a 53% growth in new clients from 2018 to 2019, with 90 new individuals accessing our supportive services directly. 2020 is demonstrating significant growth as well. There was a 25% increase in new clients from January to April this year, as compared to 2019. Of the 127 individuals who accessed our services so far this year, 75% are women.
- We increased our 12-week Closed Groups from 1 to 2 in the Winter 2020 and are planning 2 Closed Groups for Spring 2020. Of the two Closed Groups in Winter 2020, one group is composed of all women. The two Spring 2020 Closed Groups are both all women. We are well on our way to providing at least 5 Closed Groups in 2020.
- We completed a Volunteer Peer Supporter Training Program in January & February of this year with 7 individuals (6 women), more than doubling our team of Peer Supporters. Collaborating with Acclaim Health, we also provided Volunteer Peer Group Facilitator Training to 3 of these Peer Supporters and a professional in the field. We now have 10 Peer Supporters who can provide One-on-One Grief Support and have 3 newly trained volunteers (including 2 Peer Supporters) who will be able to help facilitate our Support Groups. These newly trained volunteers allowed us to provide more One-on-One Peer Grief Support sessions immediately and will help us be able to offer even more Closed Groups in the future. By offering 2 Closed Groups in the winter, we reduced our wait list for Closed Groups by 21%.
- Finally, we have been working on developing the presentation, “Understanding and Coping with Traumatic Bereavement.” Although not finalized, we have implemented educational aspects from this presentation into our Intake sessions with clients. With all the changes COVID-19 has required, we have realized that it would be beneficial to put our grief education materials on our website and are investigating how we can accomplish this goal.
HeartAche2Hope is needed now more than ever. As a young charity, we don’t have the resilience as many larger charities do. We are very thankful for your support as are our clients, and hope we have shared confidence that your funding is being well utilized.