Esquimalt Neighbourhood House is now offering a grief support group once a month. Kristyn Anthony/VICTORIA NEWS

Grief support now available thorough Esquimalt Neighbourhood House

Need is great, particularly with youth suicide and overdose deaths

Esquimalt Neighbourhood House is expanding its counselling services with the creation of a monthly grief support group.

The community service provider offers support and programs for residents of all ages in Greater Victoria, particularly in Esquimalt.

“It’s a pretty essential service,” says Brenda Macevicius, head of counselling services. “I’d describe it as a community based mental health and addictions program.”

Morag Martin, a volunteer counsellor with Esquimalt Neighbourhood House for more than a decade, will facilitate the group. The goal is to broaden the reach of those who struggle with grief, and not relegate loss as something that only happens at end of life.

“There’s a huge need from what we hear,” Macevicius says. “We hear a lot about someone who has lost someone to suicide or overdose, a lot of youth. There is a profound impact on a person when someone dies. I don’t think there’s a lot of support to capture just how significant it is.”

Referrals from Island Health, doctors, psychiatrists and other community service providers keep the 40 volunteer counsellors busy at the Neighbourhood House.

“Our program is hugely unique in that we seek out funding so we can offer the service for free,” Macevicius explains.

Longstanding support from United Way, the provincial employees community services fund, the municipality of Esquimalt, local businesses and private and personal donations keep the program running. As of this year, the Victoria Foundation will also help maintain services with community grants.

Their approach is to steer away from traditional medical model of burdening someone with questions and paperwork, and is more about building a trusted relationship so people are comfortable sharing their struggles and returning for long-term support.

“People really do need to have these supports, to be seen and heard as a whole human being,” Macevicius says. “You really want to protect people’s hearts a little bit, and go gently.”

For more information about programs and services at Esquimalt Neighbourhood House, visit their Facebook page.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of B.C.’s Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

Deer report goes to Oak Bay committee of the whole Tuesday evening

Heritage conservation area, arts and more to be discussed at Feb. 19 meeting

Pedestrian struck, vehicles targeted by thieves in Oak Bay

Police say the snow did not affect call volume

One arrested, weapons, and drugs seized in Sooke bust

During the Feb. 6 raid, police found firearms, ammunition, drugs, and brass knuckles

Unhealthy disagreement sees three First Nations chiefs take government to court

Claim and counter-claim: B.C.’s First Nations health department and administrator end up in court.

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

Okanagan ski resort officials displeased with Family Day roll-out

From one peak of the Okanagan to the other, resort officials have raised concerns

Island fossil makes it to the top of the provincial list

Courtenay’s elasmosaur will be added to the official Provincial Symbols of British Columbia

B.C. high school robotics team ranked first in the world for programming

The Surrey team was also named tournament finalists at VEX Robotics Competition on Feb. 1

Man shot dead in front of Kamloops hotel may be case of mistaken identity: RCMP

Rex Gill, 44, was not previously known to Kamloops police unlike second shooting victim

Vancouver Island boys high school basketball bragging rights on the line

Oak Bay, Nanaimo, Ladysmith and Victoria host Island championships this weekend

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Most Read