If you or someone you know can benefit from joining a grief support group, you shouldn’t let social distancing concerns stop you. There are a variety of virtual support group options that can provide the companionship, understanding and empathy you need during a difficult time. In fact, some have found virtual support groups easier to get involved with fewer and lower barriers.
If concerns about social distancing have you steering away from getting involved in a grief support group, you should know about the virtual options available.
Email Support Groups
Email support groups can frequently provide a bit more anonymity than in-person or even other forms of virtual support groups. Email support groups also provide the option to get as involved as you prefer. Like many virtual options, members of email groups can participate from anywhere at any time.
Social Media Support Groups
These are most often closed groups that require you to ask to become a member. They may include members with professional counseling experience along with those who simply are looking to express their feelings.
More and more groups are offering a live chat option through their website. Live chat allows users to ask questions or share their emotions to the person on the other side of the chat while keeping their identity to themselves until perhaps, they are ready to take the next step. Live chat is one-on-one, which can be beneficial, however, it may not always be available when users would like to access it.
Digital Discussion Forums
One of the original virtual support group vehicles is that of discussion groups. Many grief support organization websites will host these discussion groups that often target specific subjects and member needs. You can find discussion groups involving those who have lost spouses, children or even those who have passed from certain illnesses or accidents. There are even discussion groups that involve victims of violent crimes.
Monitored Discussion Groups
Monitored discussion groups are those who are watched or supervised either by volunteer members or even a professional. They can make sure discussions stay on track and are genuinely serving the needs of its members. In some cases, the monitor may invite someone into the group who can be helpful.
When hearing someone’s voice is helpful or for those who are more comfortable with talking with a person, a telephone grief hotline can prove to be beneficial. This is one-on-one counseling that often can lead to referral to a longer term solution.
Group Video Conferencing
A relatively newcomer to virtual grief counseling, video conferencing offers face-to-face group discussions online. Participants can hear and see the emotions of participants which can help build relationships and stronger empathy.
Virtual support group options can provide some immediate comfort and build some lasting relationships. Don’t let social distancing prevent you from getting the help you may need. Look at your virtual options and participate to the level you are comfortable with.
At Fares J. Radel Funeral Homes, we understand the current concerns with large gatherings, including final services. We invite you to contact us to discuss your options in these extraordinary times.