Friday, May 20, 2011
Grief Support for Co-Workers and Classmates (Video 1:05)
Comforting co-workers and classmates who are struggling with grief symptoms is uncomfortable for many people. While they may have good intentions, they often lack confidence regarding what to say or do that will help mourners adjust to a loss. At the workplace and at school, many staff members and classmates may feel that only experts should handle grief support. Worried that they might cause hurt feelings, they may remain distant from those mourning. Holding back their support, however, can negatively impact their colleagues who are suffering.
Although counselors and others trained in grief management play an important role, colleagues can also make beneficial contributions. Workshops, meetings, and classes at the workplace and at schools should include time for sharing strategies everyone can incorporate to alleviate grief as a community representing individuals of the organization. Implementation of these strategies can help create workplace and school cultures where everyone feels inspired to support one another in whatever ways they can during times of grief.
Sandi Sunter, director of community development for the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast, offers suggestions for coping with a co-worker’s death in this video titled “Hospice Care & Grief Counseling: Dealing With a Co-Worker's Death.”