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A community based treatment center for grief and the creation of a gift package containing tools for


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Title: A community based treatment center for grief and the creation of a gift package containing tools for

A community based treatment center for grief and
the creation of a gift package containing tools
for self-care
  • Community Practicum Experience
  • Tara L. Wilson

The Good Grief Center (GGC) for bereavement
  • Mission statement
  • To be a resource center and safe place where
    all who have experienced the pain of death may
    come to work through loss and learn to manage

GGC free services
  • counseling support provided at no cost via
    trained volunteers and staff
  • one-on-one support (in person and/or by phone)
  • referral network
  • support groups
  • art therapy and other workshops
  • lending library an extensive collection of
    grief resources (books, audio and video)

Death in American Society
  • Approximately 828 per 100,00 people die annually
    in the United States according to the Centers for
    Disease Control 2007.
  • These deaths cause at least as many American
    individuals and/or families to enter the grieving
    process each year.

Death in American Society
  • End of life rituals (funeral services, burial
    rituals, or the act of carrying out specific
    wishes for a loved ones remains) usually take
    place within a short period of time after the
    death occurs.
  • Its also expected that, within a brief time
    following the death, the bereaved should be ready
    to move on with life. Many bereaved experience
    great difficulty in doing so and problems arise.

Death in American Society
  • If you break your arm on the job, you are
    entitled to six weeks or more of time with
    reduced responsibilities. But if your heart is
    broken, due to the death of a spouse or a child,
    most companies permit you only a few days
    bereavement leave.
  • Russell P. Friedman, Grief Recovery Index
  • The 2003 Grief Index

Grief as a health issue
  • Despite being a common, normal part of life,
    bereavement and the grief it evokes are
    associated with heightened risk for morbidity and
    mortality (Zhang, El-Jawahri, Prigerson 2006).
  • Studies (Grimby 1993 Byrne Raphael 1997) have
    shown that bereavement magnifies the risk of
    psychological disturbances, such as increased
    symptoms of anxiety.
  • Depressive symptoms and major depressive episodes
    have also been shown to be increased through
    grief (Bruce et al. 1990 Zisook et al. 1994).

Grief as a health issue
  • Taken together, research appears to have
    confirmed the general perception that the loss of
    a loved one has negative consequences for the
    mental health and overall health of the survivor
    (Prigerson 1997).

Treatment options
  • A simple internet search using the Google search
    engine yields a plethora of grief resources.
  • Contact information for support groups and other
    grief related organizations offering support to
    the bereaved are easily accessible for those with
    internet access

Treatment options
  • A search with key words grief support yields
    3,220,000 hits
  • A few resources accessible online
  • The compassionate friends www.compassionatefriends
  • Grief Share Grief recovery support groups
  • Grief Net www.griefnet.org
  • Pet loss grief support www.petloss.com

Community based programs
  • Community based programs are defined as those
    that take place outside a clinical setting.
  • Most exist without ties to medical centers or
    religious organizations.
  • This non-affiliated type of existence may be the
    key reason for the success of such programs.

History of the GGC
  • In 2000, the GGC was founded by its current
    executive director, Ms. LuLu Or.
  • The good grief center operates as a non-profit
    under the Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute, a
    501(c)(3) organization, which serves as its
    fiduciary agent.
  • In 2001, the doors opened to begin serving all
    those whose lives have been touched by grief.
  • The Carnegie Library of Homestead generously
    offered GGC space on its second floor out of
    which to operate the center.
  • In 2003, the GGC created the Care Package

The Care Package
  • One focus of this practicum is the development of
    the Care Package.
  • This interest comes from my service experience as
    a member of the Care Package working group
  • The role of the Care Package is to not only help
    those who are grieving, but to also provide an
    ongoing funding source for GGC.

The Care Package
  • The GGC and the care package working group
    committee developed a special bereavement Care
    Package as an alternative to flowers or food
  • Includes numerous items especially designed to
    offer comfort and healing to the grieving
  • Supports GGCs mission of supporting the grieving
    by providing useful tools and information for
    coping with grief.

Objectives for The Care Package
  • To provide family, friends, co-workers and
    employers with an alternative gift to give that
    promotes healing when someone is grieving a loss.
  • To promote GGCs services and programs more
    widely, educate grieving individuals about the
    support options available through GGC, and
    provide information on the grieving process.
  • To create a self-sustaining enterprise that will
    provide earned income for GGC.

Description of the Care Package
  • Specifically designed to provide items that offer
    comfort or healing to grieving recipients
  • Revenue and sales
  • Name recognition for the newly developed center
  • Every item included in the package hosts the GGC
    logo and signature g in the purple signature

Contents of the Care Package
  • 20 tips for good grieving a collection of
    wisdom developed with the experience and
    understanding of the GGC
  • A journal and pen to record thoughts
  • A mug with tea samples
  • A magnetic message frame to express with words or
    remember with a picture

Contents of the Care Package, cont.
  • A prepaid phone card to call friends and family
  • A memory candle
  • Tissue packets
  • A packet of rosemary (an herb)
  • A g pin

Sales of the Care Package
The Care Package
  • Strong customer satisfaction with the Care
    Package is evidenced by repeat customers
    accounting for 19 of orders
  • Past recipients becoming customers and ordering
    package for others
  • Corporate customers account for 25 of the orders

Service Counts for GGC
The Care Package is of interest
  • The creation of a revenue generating, social
    enterprise, name-recognition product may be of
    particular interest to other community based
  • The creation and success of the Care Package may
    be of particular interest for those in community
    health services and public health in general.

Future sales plan for the Care Package
  • GGC has the opportunity to turn competitors into
    distribution partners.
  • Local or national florists, neighborhood card and
    gift shops and national chains will be targeted
    to be partner or sell through these avenues.
  • GGCs website is working to offer a small floral
    arrangement to be send immediately which will be
    followed-up by a Care Package a few weeks later.
  • Increased volume will offset any profit losses.
  • Hospitals, hospice, and long-term care facilities
    will also be approached to partner with GGC for
    Care Package sales.

The Care Package Brochure
The Care Package Brochure
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