Programs

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.

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, 7-9 PM, we welcome a guest speaker, followed by break-out peer support groups for loss of a child; loss of a spouse; loss of a parent, sibling, relative, or friend; loss by suicide; for youth (grades 7-12); In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, our virtual Support and Share Nights continue to draw high participation.

On October 5, guest speaker Rick Prashaw will speak about home Coming out, Coming in, Coming.

Visit our Youtube channel to watch videos of our past speakers.

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.

Each Spring and Fall, 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.

Fall Pre-Registration to come

If you’d like to join one of our Fall 2021 closed groups, which begin the week of October 4, please contact our office by phone (613) 567-4278 or email (office@bfo-ottawa.org) to arrange for an intake interview.

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.

Registration to come

We share our expertise with others in our community, about how to help and inspire others. We offer various educational workshops throughout the year.

Contact us

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.

By Suicide

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.

For Youth (Grades 7-12)

Losing a loved one when you’re young can be a very isolating experience. In addition to the fact that many young people may not have experienced a loss before, they have to go through grief while trying to cope with school, thoughts of the future, and growing up! We provide gentle support for young people with peer group and individual sessions and use writing, drawing, and talking to help share our experiences of grief and support one another through tough times.

For Francophones

In 2020 we began offering a peer support group specifically for French speakers. We are continuing to enhance our ability to serve Ottawa’s francophone community.