Processing the grief that accompanies the loss of a loved one is difficult for all of us. For a young person who has lost a friend or family member, the feelings can be overwhelming, and even harmful if left unresolved.
“There is a pressing need to support young people and their families who are experiencing loss and grief in the South Okanagan,” says Natalie Berman Biggs, Chair of the South Okanagan Loss Society (SOLS). “The combined effects of the opioid crisis, our growing crime rate and the COVID-19 pandemic have amplified the impact of loss and grief, particularly among our youth.”
To help address the need, SOLS has developed a new program to support youth aged 12-24 and their families who are struggling with loss. The society received a Foundation grant in early 2023 that will help ensure the program’s services are offered free of charge to those that need them.
The program will offer one-on-one grief counselling sessions with accredited counselors, along with group sessions for youth and their families. “We want to reach young people where they are at, and help connect them to their larger community,” says Natalie. “Our goal is to ensure no youth who is grieving feels alone with their loss.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with loss, please reach out to the South Okanagan Loss Society for assistance. You can find them here.