For the duration of the COVID-19 health emergency, Chesapeake Life Center, 90 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena, Maryland, will offer its regular support groups via a telehealth platform, Zoom for Healthcare, and not in its offices.
Chesapeake Life Center Director Susan Coale said that increased feelings of anxiety, loneliness and depression are normal in the face of so many changes. “We know how important our services are to people who are already coping with the loss of a loved one,” she said. “Grief can be even more acute when it is compounded with decreased social interaction, the cancelling of events that we were looking forward to, and worrying about the health and safety of others as well as ourselves,”
With all these factored into place, the center will offer as many services as is feasible via telehealth. The team’s counselors have all received training in telehealth to be sure that the center’s services meet best practice standards.
All groups scheduled in the month of April for the Pasadena office will meet via telehealth. Whether or not those groups’ May or June meetings will be held via telehealth or in the office will be determined prior to the scheduled date.
- Parent/Parental-Figure Loss Monthly Support Group is a new monthly drop-in group that is open to adults grieving the death of a parent or parental figure. It will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the fourth Wednesday of the month April 22, May 27 and June 24.
- Child Loss Support Group is for parents experiencing the death of a child of any age or circumstance. The group will meet from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of the month, April 4, May 2 and June 6.
- Loss of Life Partner/Spouse Monthly Morning Group is for individuals grieving the death of a spouse or life partner. It will meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon on the third Wednesday of the month, April 15, May 20 and June 17.
- Loss of Life Partner/Spouse Monthly Evening Group is for individuals grieving the death of a spouse or life partner. It will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month, April 15, May 20 and June 17.
- Men’s Monthly Support Group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month – April 7, May 5 and June 2. It seeks to help men connect with other male grievers and navigate the emotional, mental and everyday struggles of the grieving process.
- Phoenix Rising, a monthly group for teens ages 13 to 18 grieving the loss of a loved one, meets from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month – April 15, May 20 and June 17.
- Pre-Teen Group, a monthly support group for pre-teens and early teens to connect and share with others who have lost a loved one. It meets at the same time and place as the Phoenix Rising group from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the third Wednesday of the month – April 15, May 20 and June 17.
- Stepping Stones, a monthly support group for children ages 6 to 12 grieving the loss of a loved one, meets from 10 a.m. to noon on the first Saturday of the month – April 4, May 2, and June 6.
- Suicide Grievers is for those grieving the death of a loved one by suicide. The group will meet from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the second Tuesday of the month, April 14, May 12 and June 9. Participants must speak with a counselor prior to attending their first meeting.
- Together…Silent No More is a monthly support group for those grieving a loss due to substance abuse. The group will meet from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of the month, April 20, May 18 and June 15. Participants must speak with a counselor prior to attending their first meeting.
Acknowledging that not everyone has access to this technology or may not be comfortable with it, the center suggests people call or email the office and grief professionals will work with individuals to help them find appropriate resources.
The center is constantly monitoring the impact the pandemic has on families and individuals and has responded by implementing recommended safety practices and postponing public events scheduled in April.
Registration is required for all groups and can be completed by calling 888-501-7077 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For details on telehealth bereavement services, visit www.hospicechesapeake.org/clc-covid-19.