Group of paper dolls stand in a ring holding hands representing a supporting group of people

Spiritual Care Support Groups

The Spiritual Care Department hosts multiple support groups for patients and caregivers at various stages throughout the cancer journey.

In addition to the monthly support groups below, we will be hosting three special programs to offer community, healing and thoughtful classes and presentations to inspire healing.

Bereavement Support Retreat Brunch & Learn — Tending to the Mind, Body and Spirit Community Wide Grief Support Dayt

Young, Grieving spouse support group screenshot for brochure

Young, Grieving Spouse Support Group

This support group is for young, grieving individuals between the ages of 20-55 years old who have recently suffered the loss of a spouse.

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Healing a Grieving Heart - Bereavment Support Group

This program is for adults who have experienced the loss of a spouse, parent,or other loved one. 

Learn more Learn more about our Southtowns dates

Hands meeting in the middle - Caregiver Support Group

Caregiver Support Group

We invite you to our safe space where caregivers will connect, unload their struggles and find support in a relaxed setting.

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When People Grieve

This program is for adults who have experienced the loss of a spouse, parent, or other loved one. The purpose is to offer understanding, suggestions for coping, support, friendship, and most of all hope

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Bereavement Support Program

The Spiritual Care Department of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center act as coordinators of the End of Life/Bereavement Support Program. It is initiated at the time of a terminal diagnosis. With the permission of the patient or family, the Spiritual Care staff member initiates an assessment of need, including evaluation of the patient’s and family’s awareness of the prognosis, the patient’s and family’s coping resources and readiness to accept the prognosis, and the current level of patient and family support.

Once the assessment has taken place, the multidisciplinary team reviews the data and initiates an intervention tailored to the specific needs of the patient and family. The specific elements of the intervention are selected from a “menu” of program components, thus allowing the intervention to be crafted in response to the unique constellation of needs in the presenting situation of that specific patient and family. The available program elements include the coordination of related services as appropriate to provide holistic care (e.g. Social Work, Psychology, Patient Advocate,), emotional and spiritual support, values clarification interventions in order to facilitate decision-making, provision of measures to promote patient and family comfort, and the maintenance of a supportive care environment (e.g. mementos from home; accommodation of patient’s/family wishes regarding family/friend visitation.), and a quartely Bereavement Education Support Group.

The support offered through the End of Life/Bereavement Support Team continues after the death of the patient for the following year. Once again, the time and type of support will be determined by the needs of the family. The staff will continue to make contact with the family 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after the patient’s death. A needs assessment is conducted at each contact and the care coordinator will link the family to appropriate additional counseling if needed. The family will also be invited to the Institute’s Patient Remembrance Service, as well as the yearly educational evenings on grief sponsored by the Institute.

Journey Through Grief: A Resource Booklet for Families

Someone you love very much has died. Pain and fear sweep over you like waves in the ocean. You feel that you cannot bear it one more day and ask yourself, “How will I survive?” Your life has changed and a part of you is gone. It is true that you will remember and grieve a little all the rest of your life. The Department of Spiritual Care has compiled this booklet on grief to help you begin the journey and to discover the resources that are available to you. It is our hope that this booklet will bring you some peace and comfort during these difficult days.

View the Journey Through Grief booklet