The Comox Valley Hospice Society and Nourish Wellness have initiated a free grief support group for those who have lost a loved one to overdose.
Dubbed Beyond the Stigma, Silence & Sorrow, the group’s first meeting is Monday, July 9.
The group’s name came from a mother who approached Paula Purcell when she was a therapist at CVHS before joining Nourish Wellness.
“We have many people who approach CVHS wanting to come into grief support groups, and just finding that their type of loss is unique and different,” said Purcell, a registered clinical counsellor. “The people there (CVHS) are experienced in grief groups.”
In 2016, a public health emergency was declared in B.C. due to an alarming number of illicit drug overdose deaths — largely driven by illicit fentanyl. Most of those who died were men between 19 and 49.
“It’s not going away,” Purcell said of the overdose issue. “There’s a lot of stigma that goes along with it, especially for loved ones after. I think it’s important for them to have a place to share, and realize they are not alone.”
Meetings will run from 2-3:30 p.m. on the second Monday of the month. First-time attendees are asked to call ahead of time.
Contact Purcell at 250-650-7282 or Nicole Burgess at 250-339-5533 for more information.