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Samaritan Centre now offers grief counselling for clients

Thanks to Sudbury Community Foundation, executive director Lisa Long trained in Grief Recovery Method
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Samaritan Centre in Sudbury.

As executive director of The Samaritan Centre said she has seen a vast increase in grief among the clients that frequent the centre. 

“So many of our clients cope with grief caused by multiple factors,” said Samaritan Centre executive director Lisa Long, in a press release. 

“They have seen their community devastated by opioids, they have been shut out of many of the places they could turn to for warmth and comfort. COVID has created a season of loss – of perceived normality, of relationships, of affected loved ones - over which we are all grieving. For our clients, this is compounded.”

A client-centered, multi-agency facility, The Samaritan Centre services Sudbury’s most vulnerable citizens, those facing social barriers including homelessness, food insecurity, poverty, mental health and substance abuse disorders, and other issues in Sudbury’s downtown core. 

To help address issues surrounding grief, the Samaritan Centre has received funding through the Sudbury Community Foundation for Long to be trained as a specialist in The Grief Recovery Method. 

It is an international program that, according to their website, is “the only evidence-based grief recovery program in the world.” It has been utilized with homeless populations, as well as the general population.

“We are so grateful to the SCF, and I am incredibly excited to begin work with the Grief Recovery Method team,” said Long. “This will have great benefit, as it is geared to our clientele and their families. The Grief Recovery Method ensures I will also be able to coach them through the significant grief they may encounter over having a loved one who suffers from any of the myriad reasons they might be in such a precarious situation as homelessness.

As executive director of the organization, Long will be the first of the Samaritan Centre’s staff to be trained, but says she would welcome the opportunity to provide the training to other members of her team.

“The need is virtually endless,” Long said. “This is a very valuable service for us to be able to provide.”

Other services provided by the Samaritan Centre currently include:

• Drop-In Centre Monday to Friday 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

• Outreach Services team that covers the downtown core four times per week

• Weekly Nurse Practitioner Clinic, Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m.

• Hairdressing services, reflexology services

• Basic recovery micro groups and substance abuse support

• Partnering with other agencies to provide housing intake, employment readiness, Hepatitis C & HIV testing, etc.

• Grief Recovery support