TORONTO, ON – The holiday season can be a difficult time for those who are grieving, but a new program can help Ontarians learn coping strategies and connect with local supports online.
The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Ontario Bereavement program is an online resource which offers free downloadable resources with strategies to deal with grief throughout the year, including at difficult times like the holiday season.
Available at cmhabereavement.ca, the resource includes tips on coping with different kinds of loss, including grieving after suicide, grief from overdose death, and grief due to relationship changes.
“For those coping with grief, the holidays may be particularly painful and overwhelming,” said Camille Quenneville, CEO of CMHA Ontario. “It’s our hope that this resource will provide a source of comfort and support for those who are struggling.”
The resource was developed in collaboration with the CMHA Windsor-Essex branch. CMHA Windsor-Essex has been providing adult bereavement education and group supports to the local community since 1978. Their services support a wide variety of bereavement programming, including formal therapy for children and adult grievers in the Windsor area.
The resource will also offer a clinician portal to provide CMHA branches with access to additional training and resources for clients and the community.
“We’re pleased to be working alongside CMHA Ontario to offer bereavement supports to other branches,” says Luciano Carlone, Interim CEO of CMHA Windsor-Essex. “By providing these resources throughout the province, we’re widening our reach to communities that need it most.”
Ontarians can access the new resource for free online at cmhabereavement.ca.
If you or someone you know is struggling this holiday season, here are some tips to cope:
- Name it to tame it. In naming our feelings as grief, we can begin to understand the underlying emotions it brings and address them.
- Be ok with saying no. You may feel obligated to attend or host holiday plans as you had prior to your loss. It’s ok if this year is different.
- Make your emotional and physical health a priority. It will help you maintain your energy during the holiday season.
- Plan ahead. Grief can impact concentration. Use a calendar to schedule tasks and activities and remember to schedule downtime for yourself.
- Reach out for support at your local CMHA branch.