Grief recovery program to help the vulnerable in Sudbury

The Samaritan Centre is multi-agency facility that offers services for Sudbury’s vulnerable population dealing with barriers like homelesssness, food insecurity, mental health and addiction isssues.

It recently received funding from the Sudbury Community Foundation for grief recovery training for staff to offer to clients.

Officials with the Samaritan Centre said that right now, vulnerable people have been deeply impacted by devastating grief-related issues compounded by the opioid crisis and the pandemic.

"We are seeing a sea change, so a profound shift in grief and loss. Grief is our emotional response to loss," said Lisa Long, the executive director of The Samaritan Centre.

Long said clients are facing innumerable losses right now.

"Whether it’s the loss of a person, a loved one, estrangement from family, the loss of housing, the loss of employment, pets etc. So we will be able to through grief recovery support them in their grief, in their loss," said Long.

Gerry Lougheed, of the Lougheed Funeral Home in Sudbury, has been helping people dealing with grief for 47 years and volunteers his time to help the vulnerable. He said he believes the new service at The Samaritan Centre will help clients better deal with their losses.

"A lot of them have unresolved bereavement issues some of them have actually ended up in that circumstance of life because they actually didn’t handle a bereavement situation well," Lougheed said.

"A child who died, all of a sudden they started to get addicted to tranquilizers or alcohol, a marital situation fell apart. So what Lisa is doing is most important with bringing light to that darkness."

The Samaritan Centre said it hopes grief recovery sessions will have a trickle-down effect.

"When our clients are able to better manage their grief and loss it’s going to help them better manage their lives and we are really excited about that to be able to support them in that," said Long.

The grief recovery sessions will be held in person and online.

The program is excepted to up and running in the next couple of weeks once training is complete.