Community Health

Funding level: $50,000 to $100,000


We all experience the death of a loved one at some point in life. Grief is a natural journey of experiences and feelings in response to loss. The road through grief is filled with many twists and turns that are different for everyone. For most, it is a journey best not taken alone. Often, those who are grieving are at risk of feeling isolated and alone. The path through grief can be exceedingly painful and difficult to navigate. But, there is a way through grief. A way to work through the pain, end the isolation and find one's footing again.

As the only provider of Grief Support Programs in our community, we help people find their way through grief, while helping them live with renewed hope and happiness. Annually we support over 600 families through palliative care and bereavement, roughly 1 in 30 families living in the City of Kawartha Lakes. It costs $580 to support 1 person through their grief journey.

Our highly trained Grief Guides understand grief and can help transform hurt into hope. Delivered through supportive groups, made up of people going through similar losses, we offer programs tailored to support people and their circumstances. We connect with people touched by grief in their homes, workplaces and schools, reaching caregivers, children, friends and families, colleagues and classmates. Our programs offer emotional support in a safe, non judgmental environment where people can embrace their feelings of profound loss.

The Current Need for Grief Support

• Seniors represent 23% of our total population (16,790), 50% higher than Ontario. People aged 65+ is projected to increase by 132% in the next 20 years. The population moving towards end-of-life will increase the number of deaths, widowed persons and bereaved family members in need of grief support.

• 1 in 20 children aged 15 and younger (approx. 600 children in our communities) will experience the death of a parent. One of the most devastating life experiences for children, it disrupts a developmental path and can have long-term negative psychological consequences. Literature notes, however, that grief support can build self efficacy and help children emerge from loss as resilient individuals.

• Losing a spouse is ranked #1 on the stress index scale. Coping with the loss of a spouse is difficult at any age, but for seniors who have spent a lifetime together it is often devastating. Grief can be difficult for seniors whose support circles are shrinking. There are 4,740 widowed people living in the City of Kawartha Lakes.

How We Change Lives

When grief is avoided, bottled up or allowed to eclipse everything else, it can impact suffering, relationships, work and health. Grief Support promotes wellness and may reduce the need for other health services (ie., mental health or physical interventions). Getting grief support can help clients with:
• Behavioral & emotional conduct
• Grief & trauma-related suffering
• Health & sleep issues
• Performance at school, work or social situations
• Family functioning & communication
• Feelings of Depression

Our clients report that one of the best things about our grief support is the knowledge that they are not alone. By participating in a grief support, clients may find that other people have experiences, feelings and struggles that are similar to their own who share great insight, helpful advice and understanding. Clients feel accepted, validated and understand that grieving is a normal part of life. Group members who are doing well provide hope to those who are new to grief as well as reassurance that the program itself is a positive and helpful tool.

Your Vote Can...
• Train new Grief Guides
• Teach coping skills to children
• Offer companionship to someone who has lost their partner
• Build support systems for grieving teens
• Provide grief education in places where grief is part of the job
• Reach into the community to build awareness

Community Care City of Kawartha Lakes

Location: Kawartha Lakes

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