To address an increase in need for grief support, the South Okanagan Loss Society (SOLS) has recently launched a volunteer program focused on those who have lost a loved one and are grieving alone. (Contributed)

To address an increase in need for grief support, the South Okanagan Loss Society (SOLS) has recently launched a volunteer program focused on those who have lost a loved one and are grieving alone. (Contributed)

New grief support in Penticton in response to increased isolation from COVID-19

South Okanagan Loss Society is offering one-on-one telephone support during pandemic

To address an increase in the need for grief support, the South Okanagan Loss Society (SOLS) has recently launched a volunteer program focused on those who have lost a loved one and are grieving alone.

“We are hearing from an increasing number of people in need of support after being isolated for so long – we suspect this is only a small fraction of the people in need,” said SOLS administrator Catey Breton.

Due to COVID-19, the program is currently designed for telephone support but will eventually evolve into in-person visits once restrictions are lifted.

“There is a strong need for connection after suffering a loss, and it is our mission to provide those connections and improve the quality of life for those living with life’s losses,” said Crystal Kruger, SOLS chair.

“Our volunteers are carefully vetted based on their experience with grief and loss, as well as other background information,” Kruger added.

“All volunteers complete an intensive, comprehensive training program and are supervised by professional staff. They are here to listen in a non-judgemental manner, and to walk with you through your individual and unique grief journey.”

Anyone who has suffered a loss and needs support is eligible to utilize the program. They will be matched with a suitable volunteer who will provide telephone support on a schedule that will work for both parties.

Other grief support programs currently offered are a seniors-only group, weekly Zoom meetings and one-to-one counselling. SOLS programs are made possible by organizations in the community but also rely heavily on the support of individuals. If you would like to make a donation or would like more information, please email sols.penticton@gmail.com or leave a message at 250-488-1320.

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