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What's Inside:
Becoming Grief-Informed: A Call to Action!

Thank You for Being the Light!

Create a Snow Friend

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January 2021

Becoming Grief-Informed: A Call to Action!

Becoming grief informed

Grief is a natural response to loss. How people grieve privately or publicly varies based on many factors, including their personality and what their social context has shown, taught, or demonstrated as “appropriate.” Mainstream society — as well as proponents of pathologizing some people who are grieving based on a set of “symptoms” — often implies that something is wrong with you if you don’t grieve in the “right” way and for the “right” length of time.

Here’s the problem with that thinking: Everyone responds to grief in a unique way and grief can last a lifetime…and that is completely normal. After listening to and supporting thousands of children, teens, young adults, and adults who are grieving the death of someone in their lives, and with pandemic-related deaths increasing, and more than 1.6 million deaths worldwide, over 350,000 in the U.S., it is time, now more than ever, to understand what it means to be grief-informed.

“Becoming Grief-Informed: A Call to Action”, written by Dr. Donna Schuurman and Dr. Monique Mitchell, Dougy Center’s Senior Director of Advocacy & Training and Director of Training & Translational Research respectively, is more than a position paper: It’s a Call to Action.

It is time that we as a nation take a stand and acknowledge grief for what it truly is: a natural and normal response to loss that is interwoven into a sociocultural context. Grief is not an experience that needs to be “silenced,” “treated,” or “pathologized.” Grief, and all the many complications it imposes on the griever, is an experience that needs and deserves understanding, support, and community.

You can read the complete position paper here.

As part of our Dougy Center community, we hope that you will help us by sharing this important message.


Thank You for Being the Light!

thank you

We are so grateful to our generous community! Our sincerest thank you to everyone who gave so generously to The Dougy Center last month. With a goal of raising $150,000, we are thrilled to announce we raised an incredible $204,000!! In addition, a record $25,270 was also donated through the Willamette Week Give!Guide! These gifts will have a direct impact for the 600 people in our virtual support groups right now, and for the thousands of families we serve each year through resources, activities, phone calls, and more.

A huge thank you to Joana Freedman and her brother Rick Freedman, as well as to Propel Insurance for matching $20,000 in gifts during the last week of December!


Create a Snow Friend

When you’re grieving, friendships can be tricky. Many times, friends can’t really understand what you’re going through. Even the most well-meaning friend may say or do things that aren’t the most helpful. But a good friend can also be someone special to lean on, especially when members of your family are grieving too.

What qualities make someone a good friend when you’re grieving? For example, are they caring, funny, a good listener, and do they like the same activities that you like? In this activity, you can create a snow friend with these qualities. Download the activity sheet here.

Snow Friend Activity


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