Summer Newsletter - August 2021
Message From the Executive Director Over the past 17 months, I’ve thought a lot about grief and the passage of time. COVID-19 ended usual routines and we stayed home, socially distanced adjusting to a new world while watching frightening 24/7 news. There has been so much grief and loss around the world. What has the impact on our children and youth been? In the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey, more than 38,000 youth between the ages of 12–19 in 58 of BC’s 60 school districts responded. 71% reported that someone close to them had died. More than a third of these youth reported that someone in their family, or a close friend had died by suicide. It was the first time in the survey’s history questions about grief and loss were asked. Why? Because the impact on young minds is significant. "Whether we want it to or not, grief gets folded into our developing identities, where it informs our thoughts, hopes, expectations, behaviours, and fears, and we inevitable carry it forward into everything that follows." Hope Edelman, Author, The AfterGrief Edelman goes on, "People who have lost a parent growing up say it takes an average of six years or more to move forward but support from family and friends typically wanes within three months. To help grieving families adjust to loss, the simplest acts can be most helpful. Those who have experienced the death of a parent or loved one say that the most helpful things family or friends did after their loss were gestures like sharing stories about their loved one, remembering important dates like birthdays and death anniversaries, spending holiday time with them, and continuing to ask how they were doing long after the loss." As a mother who lost my only daughter 10 years ago, I can tell you that this is true. I’m deeply grateful to those who still remember important dates today. It reminds me that my daughter lived, loved and continues to be remembered. For those who’ve lost loved ones during the pandemic, they may be wondering if they’ll ever feel moments of joy or gratitude again. I would tell them that the pain they feel today won’t go away entirely, but that it will turn into something else. It will become more bearable over time and eventually will become their companion rather than their burden. We’re proud of the work we do in our communities in support of youth navigating grief and loss. The expertise, kindness and compassion provided by our counsellors and facilitators, the essential financial support of our many kind and committed funding partners; we could not do all of this without all of them. We thank you all.
Charitable organizations like ours rely on grants and donations to finance the work we do. There are no costs or barriers to obtaining services and supports for youth who are referred to us. If a youth dealing with grief and loss is in need, that’s the criteria. We want to thank our funders for supporting our work for the many youth who've struggled through loss in a difficult year. Short-term grief counselling was a planned initiative for LTL but was fast forwarded as a result of COVID-19. It’s also one of our more expensive programs to run. Here are the funders who help us keep grief counselling alive. The Victoria Foundation’s vision is strengthening community wellbeing by investing in people, opportunities and solutions, and they do all of that very well. The Foundation was instrumental in providing funding to us initially through the Rapid Relief Fund to get our short-term grief counselling up and running. Grief counselling can make all the difference in a young person's life. The Victoria Foundation also recently awarded continued funding for our grief counselling program as part of their Community Recovery Fund and, they featured us in their summer issue of PULSE magazine. See it here: https://issuu.com/page-one/docs/pulse21 Telus Friendly Future Foundation helps build brighter futures for at-risk youth through their support of health, education and technology programs. Telus has been a funder and supporter of LTL for many years. They've consistently championed our services as grief and loss service providers in the CRD. This year, Telus provided us with essential funding for our short-term grief counselling services for eligible youth here in Victoria. Victoria Harbourside Rotary has a proud tradition of making a difference to local and other communities around the world. They’re also the newest member of our esteemed funding partners. We were thrilled to learn they approved our request for funding which helps us help more youth in need of short-term grief counselling.
Good Grief Workshops We've been expanding education and support services across the island. This year for the first time, we’ll be offering Good Grief Workshops to children 8 years old and up in elementary schools in addition to our regular classroom workshops focused on middle and high school kids. Workshops are interactive, educational explorations on grief and loss targeted to different age groups. They run 60-90 minutes in length, depending on classroom schedules. To book a Good Grief Workshop in your classroom, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your date and preferred times as soon as you know. We're Hiring LTL is hiring registered clinical counsellors to support expansion across Vancouver Island. If you’re a registered clinical counsellor with a Master’s Degree, join a committed team on a flexible, fee-for-service, contractual basis. A minimum of 5-7 years of direct counselling experience with vulnerable youth is preferred as is advanced knowledge of grief and loss issues in childhood and adolescence. Find the full posting here: https://www.learningthroughloss.org/post/we-re-hiring Notice of AGM Our Annual General Meeting is being held via ZOOM on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 from 6:00 – 7:30pm. If you’d like to attend, please send us an email at email@example.com with AGM in the subject title and you’ll be sent the link to join.