Support Groups

Offered in our hospice home at no cost, our support groups aim to offer solace and comfort for individuals with a palliative illness, caregivers, family members and the bereaved:

Caregiver Conversations

St. Joseph’s Hospice is launching a new weekly, drop-in group for caregivers. Caregiver Conversations will take place at Hospice on Thursday afternoons, from 2:00-3:00 pm. Each week a different topic related to the Caregiver experience will be presented, with an opportunity to socialize with other caregivers. There is no commitment or registration required – come every week, or just occasionally.

Learning to Thrive

Learning to Thrive is a new educational group open to anyone living with a life-limiting illness, caregivers, and those grieving the loss of a loved one. Taking place every month, this group will explore the interaction between your thoughts, feelings, and actions and provide positive coping resources available to you in your daily life. Participants will learn things such as the mind/body connection, how to be present and accepting of our emotions, and making values-based decisions.

Practising Self-Compassion

Practising Self-Compassion is a six-session support group exploring the importance of self-care and compassion for the body, mind, and heart to ease suffering and to nurture self-resilience. Topics encourage taking care of the self physically, emotionally, cognitively, socially, and spiritually.

Within the self-compassion programs, individuals learn about the stress response versus relaxation response in the automatic nervous system. Awareness is focused on the identification of stress response systems and how to develop relaxation response experiences.

Participants share these responses and experiences with the group, learn to develop hands-on practical techniques to assist with the relaxation response, and take time to journal about their experiences.

Understanding Your Grief

Understanding Your Grief explores different ideas related to grief and bereavement. Each month, a new topic is covered and open for group discussion. Facilitated by our trained volunteers and supportive care staff, this group is offered at St. Joseph’s Hospice and open to anyone.

H.E.A.L (Helping Each Other Acknowledge, Accept and Learn from Loss)

H.E.A.L. (Helping Each Other Acknowledge, Accept and Learn from Loss) is a bereavement support group providing individuals with a caring environment to share their grief story. The HEAL support group can assist to rebuild feelings of hope and alleviate suffering by offering a safe, calm space for healing, and reflection on the narrative of death and loss.

This six-session support group explores the retelling of the narrative of the death and comprises reconstruction of meaning, reworking of continuing bonds, and life review, to help each member acknowledge, accept, and learn from loss.

Mindfulness for the Bereaved

Mindfulness for the Bereaved is a six-session support group exploring the connection between mind, body, and breath. This group is about helping recently bereaved individuals acknowledge the truth of the moment they are in, even (or, especially) when that moment hurts.

When someone is grieving they may find it difficult to concentrate as the mind struggles to make meaning of their life after the loss. Grounded awareness can help alleviate the sense of pending overwhelm and guided meditations can assist to calm the mind and increase clarity and focus.

Exploring Grief

Exploring Grief is a six-session group exploring the connection between tasks of mourning and creative experiences to facilitate the expression of grief, loss, and transition. Individuals utilizing expressive arts activities are encouraged to explore their responses, reactions, and insights through pictures, sounds, explorations, and encounters with creative processes such as collages, masks, poems, pictures, and self-care techniques.

Artistic ability is not required in order to benefit from this program as the activities open up the imagination and creative space for individuals to explore meaning, clarity, and healing through their senses; and the focus is on the process, not the outcome. Using imagination in this workshop helps to promote mental and physical healing.

To learn more and register for a support group, please contact:

Amanda Laframboise
Supportive Care Administrative Assistant
Phone: 519-931-3474