Grief can be a lonely journey, full of emotions that are difficult to describe and even harder to share with others. For those that identify as LGBTQ, grief can be compounded by unique circumstances that can make obtaining support even more difficult. For some, it may not be safe to seek support; they may not feel welcomed, and they may face judgment and even ridicule for expressing their loss. In addition, those that identify as LGBTQ might not be able to find a culturally competent venue or clinician to meet their unique needs. However, finding support and connection with others going through a similar experience can offer solace and comfort during a tough time.

The importance of affirming emotional wellness support cannot be overstated, especially for the LGBTQ community. At its core, affirming support provides a safe space for those who feel marginalized or invalidated by society, allowing them to explore and confront their mental health challenges without fear of prejudice or discrimination. Peer support groups are an excellent way for members of the LGBTQ community to help one another, as they can offer a welcoming and accepting environment. People who identify as LGBTQ face discrimination and exclusion in their daily lives, and support groups provide a safe space where they can share their experiences and find solace in the company of others who have similar experiences. These groups also offer a sense of community and validation, helping individuals feel less isolated and more understood in a world that can be hostile toward their identities.

Hospice SLO County is excited to celebrate Pride Month by forming a new support group to serve the LGBTQ community. Beginning June 5th, 2023, we will offer a weekly support group for those who would like to explore thoughts, feelings, and experiences related to grief, loss, and bereavement. This group will meet on Mondays from 6:00 – 7:30 PM and will have alternating weekly meetings in person and via Zoom. 

In this LGBTQ Support Group, we aim to provide a compassionate and understanding environment where individuals can share their experiences, emotions and struggles with others who can relate. Our group is open to all individuals who identify as LGBTQ or are community allies. We strive to provide resources and education on coping mechanisms, self-care practices, and mental health support. We aim to foster a sense of community and belonging among those who have experienced loss or are grieving. We want to build a stronger, more connected community that supports one another through life's challenges. To learn more or to register click HERE.