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Renowned grief counselor to present Sept. 28-29

 

Last updated 9/21/2022 at 11:08am

COLORADO SPRINGS -- The Voices of Grief Support and Education Center, a nonprofit organization based in Colorado Springs, is offering two community grief seminars September 28 and 29 that will feature renowned author, educator and grief counselor, Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, founder and director of the Center for Loss and Life Transition based in Fort Collins.

The Voices of Grief Center has been offering grief support for over 20 years around the Pikes Peak Region under the leadership of grief educator, Kathy Sparnins. The agency will host the presentations at the UCCS Ent Center for the Arts in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both presentations are open to the public, but registration is required.

The first presentation – Exploring the Need to Grieve and Mourn – will be held from 6:30-8:30 pm on September 28. This presentation is free to anyone experiencing grief in their lives or wanting to learn more about helping others who are going through the same.

The second presentation – Exploring Grief After Suicide – will be held from 9:00 am – 3:30 pm on September 29. This presentation will be helpful for caregivers, professionals, people who have experienced suicide loss and people wanting to learn how to support suicide survivors. There is a $25 registration fee for the suicide presentation, which includes materials and lunch. Limited scholarships are available. More information on both programs and registration details can be found at http://www.voicesofgriefcenter.org or by calling 719-286-0612.

Dr. Alan Wolfelt is one of North America's leading death educators and grief counselors. His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide. He founded the Center for Loss in 1984 to offer education and support both to grievers and bereavement caregivers. He is a past recipient of the Association for Death Education Death Educator Award and is known around the world for his compassionate messages of hope and healing, as well as his companioning philosophy of grief care. "In a society where mourning is often not dealt with at all, we need to teach people to grieve and mourn well," said Wolfelt.

"We are so proud to bring this level of training and encouragement to our community and the professionals who work here," said Kathy Sparnins, executive director, Voices of Grief Support and Education Center. "Dr. Wolfelt is a compassionate, inspiring storyteller who teaches that grief is a natural process, one to be honored. Grief truly is a consequence of love; we love well, and we need to grieve well."

Dr. Wolfelt explains his approach to the companioning model in sharing that "people who are grieving don't need medical treatment, rather they need a companion to their own soul-based journey throughout the mourning process. Our culture doesn't support mourning. It wants us to integrate loss and move inward. It takes courage to mourn and we're here to assist family, friends, caregivers, and others with learning about the highly individualized process of grief, grieving and mourning."

Sparnins realizes that the subjects of grief, mourning and suicide are very tender topics especially in this era of COVID when those experiencing grief have been isolated due to unique pandemic circumstances. "It's important to figure out how to get the support we need and find our community," she said. "Dr. Wolfelt is known for his compassionate message of hope and healing, he isa grief companion who teaches about some of the stigmas we face in mental health around grief and suicide."

September is national suicide prevention awareness month. Dr. Wolfelt commented on the benefit of hosting a public presentation about suicide grief, saying "It's so important to teach people about the many misconceptions that surround suicide related grief. People don't need to resolve their grief rather reconcile their feelings and allow themselves to be transformed by loss. They need the support of people around them to give them the courage to mourn, so that they can mourn well and then go on to live well. All people have an undeniable right to grieve and mourn."

The Voices of Grief Center also recently partnered with UCCS to design and distribute two surveys for the community and professionals exploring the need for expanding grief services in the Pikes Peak Region, as well as what particular services would be of greatest benefit to the community. Preliminary data from the surveys reveal that 87% of professional respondents affirmed the need for expanding grief services. The Center will present additional survey results, as well as their vision for expanding grief services in the region, to the Colorado Springs City Council on September 12.

Sparnins thanks the broad group of sponsors who are making these two presentations possible: The Springs Funeral Services, Peak View Behavioral Health, Diversus Health, Pikes Peak Hospice and Palliative Care, Silver Key, UCCS Lyda Hill Institute for Human Resilience, UCCS Gerontology Center, Pikes Peak Suicide Prevention, Paul Wood and Terri Flores-Brown, Dr. Nancy Saltzman, Dr. Richard Wall, Paula Levy with Never Alone Consulting and Max Levy with The Swiss Chalet and Peppertree restaurants.

The Center for Loss and Life Transition

Dr. Alan Wolfelt founded the Center for Loss in 1984 to offer education and support both to grievers and bereavement caregivers. The Center is an organization dedicated to helping people who are grieving and those who care for them. Perhaps someone you love has died, or you want to help a grieving friend or family member. Or maybe you are a professional or volunteer grief caregiver. Either way, they are there to offer resources and understanding. http://www.centerforloss.com; [email protected] 970.226-6050

The Voices of Grief Education Support and Education Center

The mission of the Voices of Grief Support and Education Center is to transform the way people encounter grief. Their vision is to create supportive spaces to honor the natural process of grief and to educate the community in healthy expressions of grief and mourning.

http://www.voicesofgriefcenter.org; [email protected] 719.659.0447

 

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