SHaW working to restart a bereavement student support group

Photo courtesy of SHAW.

The University of Connecticut’s Student Health and Wellness division will soon be launching the Grow Through Grief support group for students grieving the illness or death of a loved one.  

With inquiries from the UConn community and a nation heavy with loss, there was a renewed effort for SHaW to restart the bereavement support group, once facilitated by Dr. Jennifer Fox. The group previously shut down due to a lack of demand from students. 

Carson Swick, a fourth-semester junior double majoring in journalism and political science, said a group would provide valuable support, especially during the pandemic.  

“Talking about my loss with other people my age would help a lot. It’s the idea that I’m not alone and that although people have many different life experiences, really, a lot of them are the same,” Swick said. 

Dr. Fox volunteered to be the facilitator for Grow Through Grief, which with enough demand, meaning four or more people, will run on Tuesdays from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Students seeking support should call SHaW’s mental health division at 860-486-4705 and inquire specifically about the support group. 

Kristina Stevens, the director of mental health services at SHaW, said she feels there is no better time at UConn for this group.  

“There’s something that is core to who we are as human beings that benefit from being together, sharing, and leaning on each other,” Stevens said. “This pandemic has been so challenging in part because the very thing that in crisis we all rely on is the need to lean on each other. And it comes at a time where the world says we shouldn’t lean in.” 

In the interim, or for those who are looking for individual support, students will be referred to Dr. Fox to discuss outgoing support. SHaW has clinical psychologists and other resources which can assist those going through grief and loss. The mental health division will also be sharing the Grow Through Grief group information with other SHaW departments and across the university. 

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