Support Groups

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

Caregiver Conversations

St. Joseph’s Hospice offers a weekly, drop-in group for caregivers. 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 an educational group open to those living with a terminal illness, caregivers, and those grieving the loss of a loved one. Taking place every month, this group explores the interaction between your thoughts, feelings, and actions and provides positive coping strategies to use 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 physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and spiritual self-care. Individuals learn the difference between the stress response and the 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. is a 6-session bereavement support group providing individuals with a caring environment to share their grief story. The HEAL support group can assist participants to rebuild feelings of hope and to alleviate suffering by offering a safe space for healing and reflection on their experience of death and loss and 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. 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. This group helps recently bereaved individuals acknowledge the truth of the moment they are in, even (or, especially) when that moment hurts.


Exploring Grief

Exploring Grief is a six-session support group that explores the connection between tasks of mourning and creative experiences to facilitate the expression of grief, loss, and transition. Utilizing expressive arts activities individuals 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 stimulate imagination and creativity allowing individuals to explore meaning, clarity, and healing through their senses. The focus is on the process, not the outcome.

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

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