Canadian Grief Alliance to combat pandemic effects with $1M in government funding

Canadian Health Minister Mark Holland said funding for the Canadian Grief Alliance will offer educational tools and learning opportunities for people who are grieving. skp

The Government of Canada announced $1 million of funding on Friday for the Canadian Grief Alliance (CGA) to better support those living with grief caused by the pandemic.

“There was a greater awareness of loss and grief during the pandemic across a wider swath,” said Phil Carverhill, registered psychologist with the CGA. “We tend to live in a death-denying and grief-illiterate society and the pandemic, in a sense, was a different time.”

In a news release, the CGA estimated that 10 million Canadians are grieving a death that occurred during the pandemic alone.

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“In some cases, it may just be a session or two that people need with a therapist to find out that what they are going through is natural and normal,” Carverhill said. “Grief is not pathological. It’s not an illness. It’s not a disease. It’s a natural human process but people often find a lack of support.”

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Canada’s Minister of Health Mark Holland said the funding shows how far the country has come in terms of palliative care.

“The project will improve access to educational tools and learning opportunities for people who are grieving, as well as their families and friends,” Holland said in an email release.

The funding will be put to use through an action plan developed by the alliance. The alliance will present recommendations to the government in 2025 before implementation.

Carverhill said a public awareness campaign and a national grief website will be included in the action plan.

The CGA has opened a public consultation survey to kick off their work and are looking for information from participants who have experienced any type of loss. The survey can be found here.

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