Grief Support Services acknowledges what a challenging year it has been with the addition of the Covid-19 environment.
“The complexities of coping with grief and loss have definitely been exacerbated due to various circumstances in relation to the pandemic”, says our Service Manager/Senior Counsellor, Janet Baird.
Grief and loss are not only a response to bereavement but can occur following any loss or unwelcome change. This includes situations such as the break-up of a relationship or marriage, fractured family relationships, financial loss, redundancy, injury or illness of self or of a friend/family member.
Our service supports families and individuals within the Western Bay of Plenty through grief and loss situations so that those experiencing grief feel more understood and less isolated, become more resilient and are better able to access support. Grief counselling can lessen the risk of depression and suicidal ideation.
"As people grow their support systems and tools of resilience they are less likely to turn to drugs, alcohol, self-harm or other unhelpful tools to cope. “There is a flow on effect from counselling as our clients become more resilient and return to participating in their families, community and workplace”, says Janet.
While our organisation cannot share client stories due to our code of ethics, feedback received through their post counselling survey highlights the positive effects that our service provides. As a result of the counselling, clients report such changes as feeling calmer; daily life being more manageable; being better able to participate in family/social/work life; having new skills to help them through difficult times; and being more inclined to speak up for themselves.
“Having a regular touchstone in the form of counsellor meetings helped focus on my work through a difficult time in relation to practical and emotional things after the death of my dad,” says a past client. “It gave me support to be in my grief without judgement, and outside of, a difficult family dynamic that was left in the vacuum after dad’s sudden death. It was a place for me and gave me some clarity.”
Another previous client says, “I feel whole and like there has been an amazing amount of healing through this journey here. I feel more connected with myself and others. Less aggressive and self-protective too.”
In our last financial year, philanthropic support contributed to our service providing over 2,400 grief and loss counselling sessions, offering counselling support for over 520 individuals and families/whanau and providing information and support to the community. However, the waiting list that our service operates with continues to grow.
To assist in our fundraising efforts, we are launching a 25 by 25 Donation Appeal. The aim is to raise $25,000 by 25 December. All funds raised will support our service to provide subsidised professional grief and loss counselling to those in the Western Bay of Plenty community.
“This is an opportunity to give the gift of counselling this Christmas for those in need within our community,” says Janet.
All donations over $25 can choose to receive a set of 15 custom designed gift labels (while stocks last). Artwork has been designed for the service by local Tauranga artist Paulene Longley from Flossiphy - Watercolour Artist, Surface Pattern & Fabric Designer. @Flossiphy.Art
For more information on Grief Support Services or to donate please visit www.griefsupport.org.nz/appeal2021