COVID-19 has caused unexpected loss and interrupted the ways we cope and grieve. These experiences, compounded by physical distancing measures that intensify feelings of isolation, have negatively impacted our wellbeing. Grief can refer to any kind of loss, including the loss of financial security, physical and social connections, autonomy, and anticipated loss. When grief cannot be openly acknowledged, socially supported, and publicly mourned, it can deepen and prolong emotional pain.
Grief, loss, trauma, and bereavement require a deeply engaged attention to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, and the need for cultural sensitivity when considering alternatives to rituals and traditions.
The following resources were compiled to respond to the evolving definition of grief and loss, particularly in light of the global pandemic, and show how we can support ourselves and each other.
Supporting ourselves and each other
The COVID-19 pandemic has created challenging circumstances for the physical and mental health of individuals around the world. This article addresses the role of grief in mental health outcomes relating to the pandemic.
The experience of the loss of relatives—one of the most stressful events in a person’s life—has turned into a new challenge for survivors and mental health professionals during the coronavirus era.
A shift is required for developing grief literacy in Canada and internationally. It must include addressing context-specific barriers and opportunities for change, generating more inclusive spaces for diverse responses to loss, and accepting grief as something normal that we all experience throughout life.
This video addresses the phenomenon of grief triggers and how they can be handled in a school setting.
Excess Deaths from COVID-19, Community Bereavement, and Restorative Justice for Communities of Color
Lives lost can never be replaced, yet healing and renewal are possible for those who remain, through acknowledgments of the harm created by centuries of injustice, commitments to rectifying past wrongs, and changes that restore all individuals and communities, but especially those that have lost the most, to a state of health and wholeness.
Indigenous scholars, practitioners, and learners wrote this report as a collection of stories to support an improved understanding about how COVID-19 is impacting the health and wellness of Indigenous peoples.
There is a difference between tolerance and respect so it may be difficult for those who are LGBTQS+ to access positive, consistent supports. It’s important to understand why.
Along with the pain we all feel from the impact of COVID-19, this is the time to recognize that your Black colleagues, patients, and friends have been navigating another tenacious and far more destructive pandemic at the same time.
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, many have created art to express themselves and stay socially connected.
49 poets from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, B.C. and Atlantic Canada have contributed to Pandemic Poems, a new anthology that peels back the isolation, anxiety, and economic hardship of the COVID-19 pandemic and turns them into beautiful words.
The world’s first museum for art born during COVID-19 crisis.
An exploration of why clinicians write as ways to support identification, catharsis, and a way to process experiences.
This online peer-to-peer discussion forum is a space to access and offer support, and to share experiences managing stress and anxiety related to the COVID-19 virus.
The Hope for Wellness Help Line offers immediate mental health counselling and crisis intervention to all Indigenous peoples across Canada.
A safe, caring place for LGBTQ people to grieve, share the loss of someone they love, and find support.
Other links from this issue
A set of voluntary guidelines, tools, and resources intended to guide organizations in promoting mental health and preventing psychological harm at work.
A province-wide, confidential, free service through which postsecondary students can receive support and local referral information on mental health, addictions, and wellbeing.
This guide and resource kit will provide workers with a basic understanding and a place to startto learn about workplace stress and what to do about it.
A Way Through
A Way Through is an online resource developed by Ameil Joseph (an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences) and Shaila Kumbhare (a Ph.D. student in the School of Social Work) at McMaster University in collaboration with CMHA Hamilton. The project is designed to support Canadians in navigating online resources addressing grief in the time of COVID-19. Resources are curated and sorted to make finding helpful resources easier for front-line workers, educators, and everyone else. Many more resources are available at https://a-way-through.mcmaster.ca.
Three Streams. Users can access content through three portals: supporting myself, supporting others, and memorial making.
Online Support. A list of online supports are also available. These include one-on-one therapy, peer-support groups, chat services, and more.
Community. Community members can share their stories of loss with the A Way Through team. These stories are added to the community tab. Sharing our stories can help remind us that we are not grieving alone, but as a community.