A new Regional Grief Support Network is taking root in the Southwest metro region, filling an identified gap in resources for grief support in the area. “This is a new approach to grief support in the area that is modeled after other successful programs in the Twin Cities area,” said Sue DeGolier, director of volunteer services, social services and spiritual care at Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia. “Ridgeview is collaborating with other organizations to bring this support—small group meetings and speakers—to people in their own communities.”
All community grief support groups will be led by a trained facilitator. These leaders do not necessarily have a background in mental health or counseling, but are trained to provide resources, manage group dynamics, introduce topics of discussion and encourage and direct conversation. Sessions are intended to complement—not replace—professional care.
The success of the Regional Grief Support Network relies on the engagement and support of community organizations, churches and businesses to provide meeting sites and financial support. The vision is to bring communities together, building partnerships to create a safe and confidential environment where people can find encouragement and comfort to understand and express grief, and begin healing following the death of a loved one. Participants benefit from sharing and listening to others who have common experiences of grief and healing.
The Regional Grief Support Network launched its first support group on June 28 with a 4-session series in Norwood Young America at St. John’s United Church of Christ. Each week featured a different topic including Understand Grief, How Senses Trigger Memories, Tools for Coping and Self Care. It also included a time for sharing and conversation.
Groups are available at the following locations:
When: Every other Wednesday, beginning Sept. 26
Time: 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Chaska Heights Senior Living
3120 Chestnut St, Door A
Chaska, MN 55313
When: Every other Wednesday, beginning Sept. 19
Time: 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Where: Legacy of Delano
1350 St Peter Ave E
Delano, MN 55328
When: Every other Thursday, visit website for exact dates
Time: 10:30 a.m. – noon
Where: Harrison Bay Senior Living
1861 Commerce Boulevard
Mound, MN 55364
Norwood Young America
When: Every other Thursday, beginning Sept. 20
Time: 5:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Where: The Haven at Peace Village
600 Railroad Drive, 2nd Floor
Norwood Young America, MN 55368
Expansion of the program will eventually bring additional groups to Carver, Hennepin, Le Sueur, McLeod, Scott, Sibley and Wright counties on a variety of days of the week, times and locations.
The meetings are free of charge and open to all adults. To register, learn more or for information about serving as a group facilitator, or making a financial gift, visit www.goodgriefnetwork.com or call Sue DeGolier at 952-442-2191, ext. 35594. Registration is requested but not required.