Memorial Hospital is extending its support to a community program helping mothers who have suffered the loss of a child.
The Grief and Loss Support Group, hosted by Conway-based Children Unlimited, is for women experiencing grief as a result of a loss of pregnancy or birth. “The body tends to hold in trauma,” says Jette Glazer, a licensed clinical social worker and program leader. While various bereavement and similar support groups exist, the unique nature of losing a child made them an awkward fit for this population. By providing coping skills and education, this Grief and Loss Support Group “provides a supportive process to help women understand their experience and their story.”
For Memorial Hospital, Leigh Copsey, R.N., Clinical Manager of the Family Birthing Center, says she and her staff always had pamphlets and brochures or could refer patients to books on grief and loss, but these efforts seemed inadequate to help the patient deal with the loss. While some had family to help, there was no local support group. “A lot of women were seeking support through social media and blogs,” she says. This new group provides a “safety net” and “brings together women with a shared experience with a trained counselor to create a community where they can support each other.”
The Memorial Hospital Birthing Center is only one source for referrals to the program. Children Unlimited has also contacted local physicians and health centers, human services offices, clergy, and others to encourage them to refer women who may benefit from the support group. Women can also self-refer to the program.
Memorial Hospital recently awarded the organization $1,000 to fund program access for women without insurance coverage or whose insurance does not pay the full cost for participating in the program. Glazer adds that cost will not be a barrier preventing women from participating in the program.
The Grief and Loss Support Group meets monthly on the first Monday at noon at Children Unlimited at 182 West Main Street in Conway.