How to Find a Grief Support Group
When you lose someone you love, having a support system to turn to is incredibly important. While your friends and family might be there to support you, it is often helpful to share your grief with others who are in similar situations. Grief support groups are focused on learning how to deal with grief and loss while supporting others through their own experiences.
Online grief support
If you’re unable to attend an in-person support group, or just want to test the waters, online grief support groups are another helpful alternative. Online grief support groups are also useful even when you’re attending in-person groups since they’re always available and online. Many in-person groups meet only 1-2 times a week and you might find yourself in need of urgent support outside of the scheduled meeting hours for the group. Online grief support groups are also a great alternative for people with unpredictable schedules that aren’t able to attend an in person meeting.
If you haven’t found a good place to get started, consider creating a post or responding to a post in our Grief Center. Our online grief center is a place for individuals like you to share their own stories when it comes to dealing with grief and loss.
Your city’s government website
It’s likely that your city has a website with a local resources page meant to provide information on local support groups for individuals experiencing a variety of difficulties. You can usually Google the name of your city and add on the resource you’re interested in and your city’s official website will most likely be the first result. Consider searching for your city’s name + grief (“San Francisco + grief support”) and head to your city’s resources page. These might also show up in your local library’s resources page, so keep an eye out for that as well. City & library resource pages are a good place to start because they’re usually vetted groups on dealing with grief that the community has found helpful and reliable. Check for the meeting times or requirements in the description and see if there’s someone you can get in contact with.
Psychology or mental health websites
There are a few different websites that focus on mental health and grief that will allow you to search for groups being led in your area. If you go on psychologytoday.com, you can find both mental health professionals that specialize in grief as well as grief support groups that are in your area. This will also allow you to filter through the groups if you’re interested in grouping with people in very similar circumstances (such as widowers, women-focused groups, military groups, overcoming deep grief, etc.).
Your hospital or hospice
If you’ve been assigned or introduced to a bereavement counselor after losing someone, they’re a great place to start when searching for a bereavement support group. Bereavement counselors often have in-depth knowledge of local and national support groups as well as which one is most likely to be most helpful to you in your time of need. Ask the hospital staff or your bereavement counselor for any information pertaining to local grief support groups and where to find them.
Through friends or family
Connecting with friends and family after losing someone can be incredibly supportive experience, especially if the loved ones you're connecting with have gone through the process of losing someone in the past. Ask your friends, family, and community how they experienced grief and loss and what came up for them throughout their experience. Avoid the temptation to isolate yourself from those offering support and use this as an opportunity to accept the support your friends and family are attempting to offer you.