Above are a few of the people who attended the first Special Bereavement Group earlier this month. Left-right are Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention’s North Peace coordinator Casey Szmata, Catherine Kurrie, Sharon Biegel, Kimberly Boychuk, facilitator Gayle Smith, and Peter Bigler.Emily Plihal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Grimshaw’s Resource Centre for Suicide Prevention (RCSP) is offering a little different peace this holiday season, in the form of a Special Holiday Bereavement Group for people who need some help navigating this time of year.

The group will be held on Dec. 12 and Dec. 19 from 6-8 p.m. RCSP’s North Peace coordinator Casey Szmata says anyone who needs a little extra support this holiday season is welcome to attend.

“The holidays can be very difficult for those who have lost someone that they love,” says Szmata.

“It is important that we support people in their greatest time of need, which includes difficult times throughout the year, and is different for everyone,” she adds.

The centre runs closed eight-week Suicide Bereavement Groups throughout the year, but in light of the difficulty some have getting through the holiday seasons, the centre has added this “special” series to provide extra support to those who need it.

“The holidays can be extra difficult when someone is missing from the tradition and from the gathering of family,” says Szmata.

“The empty chair at the table can be overwhelming and we want to give people some tools to deal with the sadness.”

Szmata says often it helps people who are grieving to be around others who can relate to the pain, sadness, and grief that other people are going through, to understand they aren’t alone in their feelings.

“We have discussions around suicide loss and healing that can be found after,” says Szmata.

“We offer a safe space for everyone to express themselves, and to know that they are not alone,” she adds.

“Some activities we are incorporating for this special series is painting and heart-centred yoga.”

Szmata says sometimes it’s helpful for people to have some activities to help them navigate such difficult situations, and doing it in a small group setting can often help them to find ways to cope with such overwhelming grief.

“We will strive to bring each participant some peace for the holidays,” she says.

“People will find a safe environment to talk about how they are feeling, and will be able to bond with others who are going through the same emotions.”

If you’re interested in participating in the Special Bereavement Group, please email the centre at northpeace@sp-rc.ca.

Emily Plihal Local Journalism Initiative Reporter – South Peace News – southpeacenews.com

Published on Dec 13, 2023 at 14:15LJI-AB-SPECIAL-HOLIDAY-BEREAVEMENT-GROUP

This item reprinted with permission from   South Peace News   High Prairie, Alberta

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