Webinars/Educational Sessions

Grief and Loss Podcast Discussion

Valerie’s guest is John Dube who is a Senior Program Manager and Clinical Supervisor for the BC Bereavement Helpline. John has specialized in bereavement work for the past couple of decades, and while he acknowledges how hard this work is, he also shares the extraordinary nature of people, and how through this journey, they’ve taught him to live.

In this conversation Val and John talk about the stages of grief, John’s concept of the triple burden of grief, how friends and family can best offer support to a bereaved person, and how we can help ourselves when we experience a loss. Val and John talk about the important role of rituals such as funerals and memorials in the bereavement process, and they offer the comforting notion that every expression and individual experience of grief is normal.

We hope this episode provides comfort if you are in need of it, along with insights into this very common and often painful part of life.

This webinar will provide a brief overview of what is meant by anti-racism and equity, why this is important in healthcare, the ways in which racism can present itself in grief and bereavement support services, and suggestions for how to address it with increased awareness in effort towards achieving more racial equity.

Facilitator Biography

Dr. Amy Tan, MD MSc (Pall Med) CCFP(PC) FCFP

Dr Amy Tan is a palliative care & family physician, educator, researcher, anti-racism consultant, writer and health equity advocate. Dr. Tan is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Palliative Care and Dept of Family Practice at the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and has been in practice since 2005, now based in Victoria, BC. She is the Director of Teacher Assessment and Support in UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Faculty Development Office, and an Anti-Racism Support Program Faculty Mentor for UBC’s Family Medicine Residency Program. Her scholarly work focusses on culturally-safe communication with patients, ethical shared decision-making, an anti-racist approach to care, primary palliative care, and advance care planning. Dr. Tan is Section Editor for Racism & Health for PLOS Global Health Journal that addresses deeply entrenched global inequities in public health and amplifies the voices of underrepresented and historically excluded communities. Dr. Tan has been speaking out about the intersection of systemic racism and COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and is committed to ongoing work towards solutions for the structural inequities that the pandemic is laying bare in Canada.

This webinar will provide an overview of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD). Included will be an introduction to the DSM diagnostic criteria, a review of risk factors, best practice approaches to treatment, and helpful resources. There will be time for discussions and questions so please bring your experiences. 

Facilitator Biography
Marney Thompson, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor

Marney Thompson is currently the Director of Bereavement Services at Victoria Hospice. Since 1994, she has worked hospice palliative care, providing information, support, and counselling to patients, families and health care providers. In 2016, Marney co-authored the award-winning, “Transitions in Dying and Bereavement: A Psychosocial Guide for Hospice and Palliative Care, which won 3rd place in the American Journal of Nursing’s book of the year award in the palliative and hospice care category. In recent years, her primary interest has been in the field of grief and bereavement. Marney completed training at Columbia University’s Centre for Complicated Grief and has since focused her teaching and clinical practice primarily in this area. In 2017, she co-authored an article published in the Journal of Loss and Trauma titled: “Complicated grief in Canada: Exploring the client and professional landscape.”

When faced with adversity we will likely hear words letting us know how resilient or strong we are or need to be. We might also be encouraged to think positively or be grateful for what we still have. These words can fall flat, leaving the receiver feeling unseen and unheard in their experience. Join us as Dr. Catherine Hajnal explores resilience, growth, and toxic positivity in the face of adversity when you can’t take the pain away. Dr. Catherine Hajnal will be presenting the topic in a youtube live-streamed educational video followed by a live Q&A. 

Facilitator Biography

Dr. Catherine Hajnal is a Grief Educator, Speaker and Consultant who focuses in the area of grief and loss. Dr. Hajnal has spoken in many different settings and runs numerous workshops in the area of grief and loss as she shares her own experiences and educates on this important topic.

In this educational video Joshua speaks to the impact grief has on our dreams and how grief dreams help us in our healing process by continuing our bonds with our loved ones. Joshua then answered questions from the live audience. 

Facilitator Biography
Joshua Black, PhD, is a grief researcher, speaker, consultant, and host of the Grief Dreams Podcast. His work focuses on dreams and continuing bonds after loss, including prenatal and pet loss. As one of the world’s leading academic experts in grief dreams, which can be dreams of the deceased, Dr. Black has directed his efforts on raising awareness about this fascinating phenomenon through media interviews, in addition to speaking engagements and workshops.

Facilitator and author, Jessica Wolf Ortiz speaks to the specific challenges of a suicide loss and the experiences of those who are left behind. She helps us understand why this is considered a traumatic loss, some of the common feelings and thoughts of suicide survivors (those left behind) and how this one event does not define a life. 

Facilitator Biography
Jessica Wolf Ortiz is a registered clinical counsellor with the BC Clinical Counselling Association and has a Masters degree in Family Therapy. Suicide bereaved herself, Jessica has devoted part of her 20-year clinical work to grief therapy and, uniquely, suicide bereavement. She is a co-facilitator of the BCBH/BC Crisis Centre online suicide grief support groups.

Jessica is a TED Talk speaker, and the author of the book “Overcoming Suicide Bereavement: The Experience of Those that Stay” about the aftermath of suicide and the unique aspects of suicide bereavement. This book, currently available in Spanish, is in the process of being translated into English.