Connect Today to Start the Healing Process
Our grief peer support programs and memorial events support more than 2100 people in their grief journey every year. We help and support people in Ottawa who are experiencing grief that stems from many different types of losses.
Our programs and memorial events are currently being offered virtually due to COVID-19 public health measures in place.
Intake interviews will be held before closed groups and 1:1 peer support begin.
Everyone is welcome to participate, regardless of religion, culture, ethnicity, physical ability, gender, or age. Suggested donations are appreciated but not required.
If you’re unsure which program to participate in, we invite you to contact our office, so we can help the healing begin.
On the first Tuesday of every month, from 7 to 9 pm, we welcome a guest speaker and then break out into peer support groups for loss of child, loss of spouse, loss of parent, sibling, relative or friend, or loss by suicide.
Support and Share Night, January 4th, 7 to 9 p.m. Join us for peer support groups by type of loss after our guest speaker Dr. Paul Merkley speaks of his journey through retirement and widowhood onto purpose.
Join us each Wednesday from 12 to 1:30 pm for a socially distant walk with others, along the Ottawa River and behind Parliament. Sign up begins at 11:50 am in the lobby of the Bronson Centre, 211 Bronson Avenue.
People who feel they could benefit from some virtual peer support over video conferencing will want to participate. This group is open to all different types of losses and takes place every Thursday from noon to 1:30 pm. Register here
There will be no SSA on December 30.
Twice a year, we hold closed groups by specific loss type. Closed groups run over 8-10 weeks with the same group of participants. Together with trained facilitators, they explore different topics each week. These groups allow participants to explore their personal grief deeply and often lead to long-lasting connections between fellow participants and facilitators. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these groups have been held virtually with great success.
Closed groups began in October 2021. Watch for updates for our next closed groups, coming in 2022.
We provide up to four 30- to 60-minute sessions with a trained volunteer facilitator. Often these sessions help the grieving process begin, and lead to participation in other programs we offer.
To arrange for an intake interview please contact our office.
Please allow for up to two weeks for us to match you with a volunteer.
BFO Ottawa offers art therapy sessions to help people express their grief through active art creation. Expressing grief in this way helps with emotional, creative, and spiritual growth.
Watch for in-person art therapy sessions coming in 2022.
We share our expertise with others in our community, about how to help and inspire others. We offer various educational workshops throughout the year.
Types of Losses
Loss of Child
Participants and facilitators who take part in our programs have lost children of different ages and by different causes. They are all united in sharing the indescribable pain associated with losing their child. By sharing their stories, as well as the courage and strength they’ve gained through their grief journey, our facilitators and participants help guide each other through their bereavement. Loss of child peer support groups are available through our monthly Support and Share Nights as well as closed groups offered in the Spring and Fall.
Loss of Spouse or Partner
Losing a spouse or partner can feel like losing a piece of yourself. No longer having your partner there through the ups and downs of life can be scary and lonely. We have many participants and trained facilitators who have each gone through the loss of a spouse or partner. By sharing our stories of loss, we support one another with friendship, compassion, and understanding. Loss of spouse or partner peer support groups are available through our monthly Support and Share Nights as well as closed groups offered in the Spring and Fall.
Loss of Parent, Sibling, Relative, or Friend
They each play many different roles in our lives. They may be mentors, dear friends, or an irreplaceable branch of our family tree. We use the life experience of our trained facilitators and participants who have lost a parent, relative, sibling, or friend to help us work through the worst parts of our grief. Loss of a parent, sibling, relative, or friend peers supports groups are available through our monthly Support and Share Nights as well as seasonally closed groups.
Loss by suicide can be traumatic and devastating. In addition to losing a loved one, it can be tough to cope with the stigma often associated with such a loss. Our facilitators who have experienced loss by suicide provide a safe and understanding environment, where group participants share their stories and support one another. Our monthly Support and Share Night includes a loss by suicide peer support group. We also offer closed groups for loss by suicide.
By Substance Use
BFO Ottawa strives to respond to emerging needs in our community. The opioid crisis is touching families all over our region, and we are responding with increased training and programming to address this specific need.