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Support Groups2021-10-08T19:48:29+00:00

Peer-to-Peer Model

Sharing our stories, actively listening to others, and exploring the thoughts and feelings that surface with the death of a loved one. These are an integral part of the healing process.

BFO-Toronto support groups are based on the peer-to-peer model where people with similar grief experiences can come together to share, reflect, grow, support and inspire. There is something powerful about being with people who just get it.

Open Groups

Open groups are “drop-in” support groups, with RSVPs required in advance. Group meetings are led by peer-support volunteer facilitators who are also bereaved. Each group touches on a specific topic or theme, which can be found below. A more in depth look at weekly topics can be found here.

The discussions are guided by a peer model of active listening, resiliency and vulnerability. Participants are welcome to attend a total of 10 sessions, at whatever pace is best for them.

Closed Groups

Closed groups at BFO are committed attendance support groups. Meeting once a week for a period of eight weeks, these groups are led by peer volunteer facilitators and volunteer professionals. A key feature of closed groups is that the facilitators and other group members will be consistently attending the sessions, allowing for a greater level of comfort and support in sharing our stories and discussing relevant topics. We currently offer groups for Young Adults, Parents who have lost a child, Spousal losses (55+), caregivers and children aged 6-12, in addition to a Youth program.

How to Join

All participants must call in at (416) 440-0290 to complete an intake. You will be placed in an open group, closed group or recommended for one-on-one support. For open groups, participants must RSVP each week, with responses being accepted the Sunday before each group meeting. For closed groups, participants will be waitlisted until a closed group is filled up to the optimal size.

Open Groups

Please note “Mixed Loss” is now “Family and Friend Loss”. Available to folks 30+.

Group type Dates Weekly Topic How to Join
Family and Friend Loss October 4, 2021 (6:30-8:30PM) Getting through the day Call office to RSVP
Family and Friend Loss October 18, 2021 (6:30-8:30PM) Symptoms of grief Call office to RSVP
Family and Friend Loss November 1, 2021 (6:30-8:30PM) Dealing with guilt and anger Call office to RSVP
Family and Friend Loss November 15, 2021 (6:30-8:30PM) Relationships and roles Call office to RSVP
Family and Friend Loss  November 29, 2021 (6:30-8:30PM) Significant dates: birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special events Call office to RSVP
Family and Friend Loss December 13, 2021 (6:30-8:30PM) Possessions and memories Call office to RSVP

Closed Groups

Group type Dates How To Join
Parents’ Child Loss Group Spaces Available for October 2021 Call office to complete intake
Spousal Loss Group (ages 55 and under) Spaces Available for January 2022 Call office to complete intake
Spousal Loss Group (ages 55 and over) Spaces Available for October 2021 Call office to complete intake
Young Adult Group (ages 18-29) Spaces Available for January 2022 Call office to complete intake
Family and Friend Loss (ages 30+) Spaces Available for January 2022 Call office to complete intake
Children and Caregiver Group (ages 6-12) On hold until in-person services resume Call office to complete intake
Youth Group (ages 13-17) Spaces Available for October 2021 Call office to complete intake

FAQs

What does a support group offer?2018-07-29T19:44:23+00:00

A safe space for you to explore your grief in whatever way makes sense for you.

A space to connect, share, and listen with others in their grief journey.

Develop skills, knowledge, and coping strategies to assist you in learning how to live with your grief.

Am I ready to join a group?2018-07-29T19:43:52+00:00

Some things you may want to think about before joining a mutual support group:

  • Am I ready to share my story with others?
  • Am I ready to hear the stories of other bereaved people?
  • Will my schedule allow me to regularly attend the group?
  • Is this the right time for me to benefit from a mutual support group?
How do I join a group?2018-07-29T19:42:58+00:00

Please call the office at 416-440-0290 to have your name added to the next available session.

Please note that there is sometimes a wait to join a support group, as we run our groups when we have the optimal amount of participants.

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