Coming together to cope with grief, loss

Those dealing with grief and loss now have a new resource to turn to.

SVSU’s Student Counseling Center is starting a Grief and Loss Group open to all who are interested in attending.

The Student Counseling Center deals with student issues including difficulty with friends, roommates or family members, depression and anxiety, sexual identity, lack of motivation, eating disorders, sexual assault and other subjects. Ultimately, the Counseling Center strives to serve anyone in need to the best of their abilities.

“We try to make (treatment) very individualized to the student,” said Anne Acker, assistant director of the Student Counseling Center.

The Grief and Loss Group was started by Master’s in social work intern Jenna Newton. Newton was motivated to start the group after being a grieving teenager herself, having lost her mother at age 16 to suicide.

Newton said she realizes the importance of having someone to talk to, and wants to provide SVSU students with that opportunity.

“(After my mother’s suicide), I had nowhere to turn and felt very alone,” Newton said. “I began attending a support group through my high school and found that support I needed.”

Soon after attending that support group, Newton started attending grief camps through Heartland Hospice as a volunteer helping others through their grieving process. Newton finds satisfaction in helping people deal with grief.

“I felt that giving someone that support helped them and also continued to help me in my grieving process,” Newton said.

Newton recognizes that needs for individuals in grief and loss groups vary depending on the circumstances. The depth of discussion for groups will vary depending on what the group is comfortable talking about. Individuals attending the group are encouraged to talk about whatever they feel most comfortable doing, and all information will remain confidential within the group.

The group will end with a memorial service where each person will be given a chance to write their loved one a letter, as well as bringing a memento of that person.

Newton’s goals for the group are clear.

“Overall, my hope is that students can open up about their loved one that they lost, learn about the feelings that accompany grief and learn different ways to mourn and celebrate that person’s life,” Newton said.

The group will first meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, in Curtiss Hall 101. Meetings will take place every Tuesday night until April 22. All are welcome to attend.

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