Tuesday, November 20, 2018 marks the second National Bereavement Day in Canada. This is a day for all of us to reflect on the legacies of those who have died, and the connections and relationships that continue to shape our lives. It is also a day in which we can collectively advocate at all levels of our government for the supports so desperately needed in order to provide bereavement care to all Canadians.

As a non-profit organization whose primary mandate is the provision of grief and loss supports, we invite you to join us and our partners in bringing public attention to this day, as well as to the crisis that pertains to the lack of bereavement resources in this country.

It is estimated that 279,936 Canadians will die by the end of this year. With each death, approximately five other people are significantly impacted by grief. The common symptoms, and long-term implications of unresolved grief include; anxiety, depression, chemical dependency, post-traumatic stress disorder, loss of work, homelessness, suicide, and more. These undesirable outcomes can be systemic and multi-generational, but with timely help and supports these effects can be prevented.

Current Federal legislation only provides working Canadians with three consecutive days for bereavement leave, which just applies to immediate family members. In addition, both provincial and federal government funding is extremely limited for organizations that provide bereavement care.

Most communities in Canada don’t have adequate services or personnel to provide bereavement care to individuals and families. Services for bereaved children and youth are even harder to obtain.

Since our inception in 2007, the Camp Kerry Society has provided long-term support to thousands of bereaved children, youth, adults and families from all over Canada where we currently serve in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and the Maritimes.

Walking with hundreds of people at a variety of stages on their grief journeys, Camp Kerry harnesses this collective experience to help people cope better with the trials and challenges of their bereavement. Together, we transform narratives of loss, fear and hopelessness into narratives of love, meaning and hope.

Join us and build a creative, compassionate community that can embrace and support those who are grieving.

A few ways you can help…

  1. Start a dialogue with your family
  2. Engage in discussions on Social Media – #LifeAfterLoss #GriefDay2018
  3. Share your story with us or with others
  4. Contact your local MLA to encourage more funding for supports to be available in your province
  5. Contact your Members of Parliament and request for a Bill to be passed that increases bereavement leave for all Canadians

To find out more ways you can help and for a list of National Bereavement resources please visit our partners at the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.