Support Groups2019-12-30T15:13:25+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.

Coping with the Holidays Groups

Our longing for our loved ones often becomes deeper during the holiday season.  Many times during this season we will think of memories of past holidays when they were here. Even if we have found a way to cope with everyday life, the holiday season can be a time that brings on renewed sense of grief.

Our Coping with the Holidays groups are intended to create a space to discuss the challenges of being bereaved at this time of the year, share coping strategies, and connect with others. Everyone is welcome to attend these groups, no matter what loss they have experienced. RSVP in advance is required. Please call (416)440-0290 ext. 102 to access these groups. Refreshments will be provided.

Coping with the Holidays Groups 2019: Tuesday Dec. 3rd, 2-4pm and Wednesday Dec. 11th, 6:30 – 8:30pm

Open Groups

Open groups are “drop-in” support groups, with RSVPs required in advance. Group meetings are led by peer volunteer facilitators and consist of open discussion, without specific topics directing the conversations. The discussions are guided by a peer model of active listening, resiliency and vulnerability. Over the summer, BFO is currently running a Mixed Loss Group for Adults (30+) and a Partner/Spousal group. 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 in Scarborough.

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

Group Type Dates How To Join
Adult Mixed Loss Group (ages 30+) Tuesdays: Jan 7, Jan 21, Feb 4, Feb 18, March 3, March 17, March 31 Call office to confirm time and RSVP
Adult Mixed Loss Group (ages 30+) Wednesdays: Jan 15, Jan 29, Feb 12, Feb 26, March 11, March 25 Call office to confirm time and RSVP
Spousal Group (all ages) Tuesdays: Jan 7, Feb 4, Feb 18, March 3, March 17, March 31 Call office to confirm time and RSVP

Closed Groups

Group type Dates How To Join
Children and Caregiver Group Next Group TBA Call office to complete intake
Parents’ Child Loss Group Spaces Available for Spring 2020 Call office to be added to waitlist
Spousal Loss Group (ages 55+) Spaces Available for Spring 2020 Call office to be added to waitlist
Youth Scarborough Group (ages 13-17) Spaces Available for January 2020 Call office to be added to waitlist
Young Adult Group (ages 18-29) Spaces Available for Spring 2020 Call office to be added to waitlist


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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