Understanding the challenges that confront individuals as they prepare for their own death or the loss of a loved one, Hospice of Santa Barbara, Inc. offers a wide range of community-based support programs. These programs include a number of support groups that allow individuals to discuss their experiences in welcoming, supportive environments and to forge therapeutic relationships with people in similar circumstances. For those who have lost someone close to them, hearing others speak of similar experiences can provide a profound sense of comfort. It reinforces the feeling that people are not alone in their struggles and that others are dealing with the same hardships.
Hospice of Santa Barbara’s support groups are all facilitated by both licensed professional counselors and peer counselors who have worked through their grief and feel prepared to help others do the same.
Recognizing that grief affects people differently depending on their stage of life, the organization offers support groups designed for specific age groups. For example, the Loss Later in Life group helps individuals living in a local retirement community, while I Have a Friend addresses the needs of children dealing with the loss of a parent or sibling. The latter program pairs each child with an adult who experienced a similar loss in his or her early life.
Other support groups focus on creative ways of dealing with grief. The Art Group allows individuals to use art to express their feelings and work through the pain of loss. The Poetry Group brings together people who like to express themselves through words, rather than the visual or performing arts.
Some of the support groups at Hospice of Santa Barbara offer a space for sharing the pain of an especially traumatic loss. Living with Loss is designed to help parents grieving a miscarriage or the loss of a young infant. HLAC offers support to parents who have lost an adult child. The Healing Circle focuses on those grieving the loss of an extremely close, meaningful relationship.
Individuals can learn more about these support groups, as well as Hospice of Santa Barbara’s other services, online at www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org