BFO-Toronto is able to provide wheelchair accessible group space with notice. If you require such assistance please contact the office at 416-440-0290 a week in advance so we are able to make appropriate arrangements.
In each visit to a BFO-Toronto mutual grief support group, you have a chance to talk about your own grief experience and listen to the experience of others. Sharing our stories and being witnessed as we explore the events, thoughts and feelings associated with the death in our family, can be a powerful part of the healing process for many bereaved people. We run 8 week closed groups and open group (drop-in programs). The type of group you will attend will be determined by the type of loss you have experienced.
8 Week Closed Groups:
Mutual Support Bereavement Groups at BFO-Toronto are small, closed-membership groups of 8-12 people who have experienced like-losses and meet to explore their grief in a confidential and supportive setting. The groups are facilitated by two peer, bereaved volunteers who are supported by volunteer professionals. Generally groups meet once a week, in 2-hour sessions. These groups are for:
- Parents who have lost a young or adult child
- Children ages 5-8 yrs and 9-12 yrs old who have experienced the death of a parent/caregiver or sibling
- Young adults (20-29) who have experienced the death of a parent/caregiver or sibling
- Adults ages 55+ who have experienced the death of a spouse/partner.
Please note that there is sometimes a wait to join a support group as we run our groups when we have the optimal amount of participants. If you are interested in participating in a group please call the office at 416-440-0290 and have your name placed on our website for the next available session.
Open Group (Drop in) Programs
Open Group Programs at BFO are for any adult, over 30 years of age who has experienced the death of a parent, sibling, chosen family member or the death of a spouse or partner. The sessions are facilitated by BFO-Toronto peer volunteers who have experienced similar losses. Open discussion format, no set topics. Attend as many drop ins as you wish. Please call 2-3 days in advance of each session to book your spot.
Winter Group Schedule 2017
Children CLOSED Group: Thursdays 6:30-8:00pm
February 9, 16, 23
March 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
Youth Scarborough Open Group: Mondays 5:30-7:30pm
January 9, 23
March 6, 20
Young Adult CLOSED Group: Mondays 6:30-8:30pm
February 6, 13, 27
March 6, 13, 20, 27
Adult Mixed Loss (Ages 30+) Drop-in Group:
Wednesdays 2:00-4:00pm OR 6:30pm-8:30pm
February 1, 15
March 1, 15, 29
Tuesdays at 6:30pm
February 7, 21
March 7, 21
Parents CLOSED Group: Wednesdays 6:30-8:30pm
February 8, 15, 22,
March 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Spousal +55 CLOSED Group: Tuesdays 2:00-4:00pm
February 7, 14, 21, 28
March 7, 14, 21, 28
Spousal -55 Open Group: Tuesdays at 6:30-8:30pm
February 7, 21
March 7, 21
Infant Loss: 1-to- 1 Support
Please call the office to book
Suicide Support Open Group: Mondays 6:30-8:30pm
Participating in a mutual support group may:
- Provide a safe space for you to explore your grief in whatever way makes sense for you
- Reduce your sense of isolation by providing an opportunity to connect with other bereaved people
- Normalize your experience of grief by giving you a chance to hear from and share with others who are going through something similar
- Give you information, skills, knowledge & coping strategies to assist you in learning how to live with your grief
Am I Ready to Join a Group?
The benefit of a mutual support group comes from the participation of all members of the group. While this doesn’t mean that you always have to speak (silent support and encouragement is an important part of the group experience), there are some things you may want to think about before joining a mutual support group:
- Am I ready to share my story with others?
- Am I ready to hear the stories of other bereaved people?
- Will my schedule allow me to regularly attend the group?
- Is this the right time for me to benefit from a mutual support group?*
If you are not sure about joining a group, that’s okay. You can think about it or call the office to speak with someone and have a conversation about your readiness.
* A word on timing. When you come in for a one-to-one meeting with a volunteer, you will discuss the timing of joining a mutual support group. Just like we believe that everyone grieves uniquely and there is no right or wrong way to grieve, we believe that people access support when they are ready. For some, this means shortly after the death, for others, this may mean several months or even years following the loss.