Gilchrist Grief Services – Reaching Out to the Community

Robin Stocksdale, MSW, LCSW-C, CT Bereavement Services Manager
Robin Stocksdale, MSW, LCSW-C, CT
Bereavement Services Manager

In April of each year, Counseling Awareness Month is celebrated to honor the value of counseling and the skills of professional counselors.

Gilchrist Grief Services, a division of Gilchrist Hospice Care, is the leader in the Central Maryland area in providing exceptional grief counseling services to support those who are mourning the loss of a loved one.  We employ four Clinical Grief Counselors, each of whom hold a Masters degree in a counseling related field, are licensed in the State of Maryland, and hold the credential Certified in Thanatology (the study of death, dying and grief).

Beyond grief counseling, we are committed to reaching out to the community to educate about grief – normalizing the grieving experience and helping those who are mourning to move forward in their lives toward hope and healing. We now employ two Bereavement Outreach Coordinators to provide this service to the community.

Why have we made this commitment to the community?

In my 16 years of employment with Gilchrist Hospice Care, I still am surprised when I encounter people who don’t know about hospice care, much less about the free grief support that Gilchrist Hospice Care provides. In my new role as Bereavement Outreach and Project Coordinator, I meet with faith communities, community agencies, area businesses, schools, long term care facilities and funeral homes to dialogue about their needs and how Gilchrist Grief Services can help.

In faith communities, this may mean providing workshops for the congregation or education and training for deacons, church leaders and lay people who minister to the grieving.

In long term care facilities, we may provide support and debriefings with staff members who cope with daily losses of residents with whom they have become close.

Schools may engage us to provide support when a teacher, staff member, student or a student’s family member dies.

For funeral homes we may provide our Gilchrist Grief Services Calendar of Events and share the link to Gilchrist Hospice Care’s website about our support groups, workshops, spring retreat and other special events, as well as our counseling services, to share with their bereaved.

For businesses and community agencies, we may provide support to their staff so that they can function optimally in the work force as they grieve.

We look forward to greater awareness of our complimentary services throughout the community.

“The purpose of human life is to serve, and to show compassion and the will to help others.” –  Albert Schweitzer

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