Benefits of bereavement support group.
1) Realizing you are not alone
They help you in realizing you are not alone as there are people with similar concerns and are there to help and encourage you.
2) Expressing your feelings
After you realize you aren’t alone and within a safe and supportive environment, you will begin to feel comfortable sharing your feelings and life circumstances with the group. This can be a very therapeutic and healing experience, particularly as you find that others in the group will listen nonjudgmentally and will praise you for your openness and courage.
3) Learning helpful information
Support groups offer lots of practical tips and resources for dealing with identified concerns, and members share their success stories and the strategies that helped them move forward in their recovery. Some groups focus on learning and practicing specific coping skills. Many groups will also provide recommendations for useful books and websites for additional study apart from the group meetings.
4) Improved social skills
By meeting and talking with other group members, you also have a chance to practice social skills and interact more effectively with others. Often, mental illness or addiction has contributed to withdrawal from social situations. Support groups provide a safe place to become comfortable around others once more.
5) Gaining hope
It’s very powerful when you see others in the group who are further along their road to recovery and who have made great strides toward having happier and healthier lives. These positive role models show you that recovery is in fact attainable, which brings renewed hope for the future.
6) Reducing distress
As you work through various issues and concerns in the group, it’s common that you will begin to notice a reduced level of overall distress and discomfort. This is a positive sign that progress is being made and that you are feeling better.
7) Increased self-understanding
As you learn more effective ways to cope and handle difficult situations, you gain better understanding about yourself, your needs and your own unique personality. You can also gain increased insight about the factors that have contributed to your current challenges and the strategies that seem to work best to help you move toward your goals.
8) Helping others
Just as you benefit from the group experience, you can also help other group members as you grow and make progress. Others will be affected positively by hearing about your successes and by your kind and caring demeanor. You will also notice you feel better when you are able to help someone else. Many groups will explicitly include the goal of helping others as a central component of the group’s mission.
One additional advantage of support groups is they are very affordable. In fact, many groups are free, and all will typically be cheaper than individual therapy sessions.
Why join a support group?
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Support Group Quotes
“When you feel like giving up, just remember the reason why you held on for so long.” – Unknown
“Suicide doesn’t end the chances of life getting worse, it eliminates the possibility of it ever getting any better.” – Unknown
“If you are looking for a sign not to kill yourself, this is it.” – Unknown
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe
“Place your hand over your heart, can you feel it? That is called purpose. You’re alive for a reason so don’t ever give up.” – Unknown
“The person who completes suicide, dies once. Those left behind die a thousand deaths, trying to relieve those terrible moments and understand … Why?” – Clark (2001)
“Never never never give up.” – Winston Churchill
Coping Skills for Suicide Survivors & the Bereaved
- Talking: Communicating one to one with others provides an
opportunity to share feelings and emotions. Finding someone to
listen may not be easy but approaching family members, friends and members of religious groups may be good starting points.
- Writing: Written communication has been used by many survivors over a long period of time. Whether by writing a letter to someone, keeping a journal or just filling a page with thoughts and emotions, people find that this form of self-expression can be helpful.
- Art forms: Practising various art forms has been a means of personal expression for centuries. The medium used may be painting, sewing, pottery, woodworking or music, to name a few. Conveying your feelings, thoughts and emotions through some inanimate object can be helpful.
- Joining: Although there may not be other survivors nearby to
connect with, the possibility may exist of joining some type of group activity. Participating in such activities involves reaching out and beyond the self. This can help to move the healing process forward through a focus on others.
- Meditation: This individual activity can help the person to focus on problem-solving to move beyond dwelling on the self-pity that
survivors are prone to suffer from.