How to find grief support during coronavirus social distancing
You may be in COVID-19 isolation, but you don’t have to be isolated in your grief
By Melissa Willets
Grieving the loss of a loved one is already an isolating experience, but it’s even more so while being quarantined for the coronavirus pandemic. If you’re also grieving your daily life before COVID-19, you may want to seek some sort of grief counseling, even though in-person support is not possible at this time.
The good news is grief support is available in more ways than ever, and many resources exist to help you connect with fellow mourners and professional counselors without having to leave your home.
Where to find grief support
Start your grief support search by utilizing Great Western Insurance Company’s (GWIC®) grief support lookup. You simply type in your ZIP code to find a variety of support methods in your area. They range from websites and online forums to hotlines and counseling via text. Some resources are tailored to meet your specific needs, like the loss of a spouse, parent, or child. But if you don’t find what you need, read on for more options.
If you need immediate assistance, the Crisis Call Center is available 24 hours a day to provide free, anonymous counseling. The center also offers help via text messages.
The Friendship Line is a free, 24/7 resource that caters specifically to seniors in partnership with The Institute on Aging.
If you don’t need urgent help but just a friendly voice, mental health warm lines are available to talk, text, or connect via instant messenger. Or you can contact the Crisis Text Line, which is staffed with trained counselors who listen, provide advice, and help you feel less alone. They even have a crisis counselor trained to talk with you about coronavirus fears.
Mental health professionals are offering telehealth video sessions and over-the-phone grief counseling to avoid coronavirus exposure. If you already have a therapist, ask them if telehealth sessions are an option for you. If you are looking for a grief counselor, visit Psychology Today’s database to find an accredited professional in your area. Chances are, they are already using telehealth to see clients in the current climate. If not, The Virtual Therapist Network and Better Help offer databases of therapists who specifically work with clients online.
If you have Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts, you can search hashtags like #grief and #griefsupport to find helpful quotes, healing tips, and honest stories written by other bereaved individuals. You can share your story or leave messages of support for others if you feel inspired, or you can choose to stay anonymous if that better serves you at this time.
Grief Anonymous is a Facebook hub to explore if you want to connect with a group of like-minded people who are also living with grief.
If you prefer to receive less involved counseling, consider connecting with groups, like Grieving Parents or Grief Share, which provide grief support through encouraging emails.
Books and blogs
Grief books and grief blogs provide private advice on healing. Millions of people have found connection and relief from titles written by professional therapists, religious leaders, and those who have experienced life-altering grief firsthand. Read more about best-selling grief book titles and popular grief blogs here.
Even with many grief support options at your fingertips, you may still feel overwhelmed. Coping with grief during pandemic fears is a lot, and wishing you could mourn and get support in a “normal” fashion, without the added burden of worrying about getting sick, is justified. Just remember, you are not alone and take comfort that you are doing the very best you can to honor your lost loved one and find healing in the current climate.
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