About Us

The BC Bereavement Helpline (BCBH) was established as a charity in 1988 and has become a provincial leader in providing education, support and advocacy for the bereaved, their caregivers and professionals.

Vision

To provide support to anyone coping with grief and loss.

Mission

The BC Bereavement helpline is committed to facilitating the provision of care and support to the bereaved, caregivers and service providers and to increase public understanding of grief as a life process through education, support, advocacy, networking and dissemination of information.

BCBH Core Values

Compassionate

Trustworthy

Resourceful

Inclusive

Purpose

Since its inception in 1988, the BCBH has been active in the provision and encouragement of, and remains committed to:

1. Support – by acting as a resource and support to the bereaved and caregivers through referral and interdisciplinary communication.

2. Education – by providing knowledge and understanding of the psychological, sociological, physical and spiritual dimensions on dying, death, and bereavement.

3. Research – by encouraging research projects on death, dying, and bereavement.

4. Advocacy – by advocating on behalf of the bereaved within the public and private sectors.

The BC Bereavement Helpline assists the bereaved and their caregivers in coping and managing grief and loss. When you call us your call will be answered by a caring, compassionate volunteer who is familiar with over 300 grief support groups and organizations in the province. Volunteers are trained to provide compassionate listening and offer an opportunity to lend a sympathetic ear for the bereaved. Our traumatic loss support groups provide a safe, nurturing environment for participants to share and support each other in their grief. Trained facilitators provide information about grief and encourage individuals to speak about their loss as they feel comfortable. Your call is free, confidential and anonymous and will be treated with care in helping you find the most appropriate support for your specific type of loss.

BCBH Staff

Executive Director – Pam Bilusack 

Pam has a background in the non-profit sector including fund development, event planning, and communications. Additionally, Pam brings with her lived experience with suicide loss and has been working with BCBH through her involvement as a support group facilitator, volunteer, and member of the Crisis Centre of BC’s Bereavement Advisory Committee. Pam’s education includes a Human Resources Manager Certificate, Traumatic Loss Group Facilitator Training through BCBH, Applied Suicide Invention and Skill Training (ASIST), Supervisor Training for Substance Abuse Prevention Training, Aboriginal Awareness Training and an Applied Psychology and Counselling Diploma from the Kelowna College of Professional Counselling.

Having experienced many losses in her life, Pam has found a passion in supporting the bereaved. As she says, “I can’t turn a negative into a positive, but I can turn it into a purpose.”

To contact Pam directly, email [email protected] 

Program Coordinator – Courtney Kindlein

Courtney is responsible for the coordination of support groups and the operations of the Helpline which includes the recruitment, training, and supervision of the volunteers. Courtney has 5+ years of experience in advocacy and events which she utilizes to further BCBH’s mission. She has diplomas in Event Management and Human Service Work. Courtney found BCBH after unexpectedly losing a close family member and finds a unique form of healing through supporting others through their grief. Courtney is passionate about policy work, travelling, and books. In her spare time, she likes to spend time with her husband, their animals, and nature. 

To contact Courtney directly, email [email protected] 

Practicum Student – Samara Hohl

Samara has a background in working with children and families, web design, and is currently in the process of completing her Bachelors of Social Work. Samara brings with her lived experience with toxic drug poisoning and homicide loss, and is honoured to be able to pursue her practicum with BCBH to walk alongside those who are navigating and healing after their loss. 

To contact Samara directly, email [email protected]