UTAH, Sept. 16, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The University of Utah College of Nursing is launching two new COVID-19 support groups, officials said.
“There have been over 3,000 hospitalizations and 400 deaths from COVID-19 in Utah, which is a lot of grief,” says Katherine Supiano, PhD, director of the college’s Caring Connections program, by way of a news release. “They don’t know what to do with this experience of being post-COVID because nobody knows what normal is.”
Caring Connections, a non-profit community service program, is the only bereavement care service housed in a nursing college in the United States, the news release said. Caring Connections offers a variety of grief support groups year-round to help individuals cope with loss.
Two different groups will be offered to people in the community dealing with COVID-19 specifically:
COVID-19 Grief Support Group
This group will be focused on COVID-19-related grief for those who have lost a family member or friend to coronavirus as well as all who are grieving deaths that were disrupted due to the virus. Disrupted grief experiences include family unable to be present at the time of death or funeral gathering. Individuals in this support group will meet virtually for eight weeks.
COVID-19 Recovery Support Group
This group will be focused on support for individuals who have had COVID-19 and are dealing with emotional struggles related to their illness and any lasting symptoms. People who are dealing with difficulties following their COVID-19 illness can find support in this group from others with similar experiences. Individuals in this support group will meet virtually for 12 weeks.
Groups are facilitated by clinicians; social workers, psychologists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, and chaplains, who give their time to help others pro-bono. “Many clinicians are well-connected and already doing this type of work in their communities,” the news release said. “Other group leaders are working on the frontlines of COVID-19 and are knowledgeable about the disease and recovery process.”
COVID-19 support groups are free for participants due to funding from the state of Utah Department of Human Services. Funding has allowed Caring Connections the opportunity to also support disproportionally affected communities that have been affected by coronavirus. “We have the opportunity at the College of Nursing to be on the forefront of not just what’s coming around the corner, but what’s happening now,” Supiano said.
Group registration is required; call 801-585-9522 for more information and to register. More information is available here.