Our grief counseling program is one of the oldest, largest, and most diverse bereavement services in the U.S. Founded in 1973, it provides individual and group counseling to about 1,000 youths and adults every year. Services are provided at various locations, and many grief counselors speak Spanish. We also have grief response teams that go to schools and businesses upon request after a student or colleague has died. All services are free of charge.
Through a special relationship with the county coroner's office, our staff has access to active files and can proactively contact next of kin and inform them of our services. In addition, police officers leave information on our grief counseling program at death scenes.
We provide individual counseling in clients’ homes, at their place of business, and at our offices in Walnut Creek. Counseling is conducted by trained volunteers, many of whom have experienced the death of a loved one themselves and received grief counseling from our agency. Individuals can receive personal, one-on-one grief counseling once per week or less often if they choose. Counseling can be one-time or last for months, depending on the needs of the client. For children, we have an art therapy room where they can work on various projects while talking with one of our counselors.
We operate a number of support groups, including groups for children, teens, parents, survivors after suicide, and widows and widowers. Most groups run eight to 10 weeks. Individuals are welcome to receive both individual and group counseling if they choose, as well as to sign up for a new group when a current group ends.
Grief Response Teams
Special teams provide grief counseling at schools and businesses following a death. This counseling orients friends, teachers, and colleagues to the grief process. If a student dies by suicide, we counsel school personnel in actions that reduce the likelihood of copycat behavior, as well as appropriate ways to discuss suicide and memorialize the deceased.
For immediate, 24-hour phone counseling, call our grief line at 800.837.1818. For more information on our grief counseling program, contact our grief counseling director, Susan Moore, M.A.