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Community Resources

A number of organizations may offer bereavement support in your area. Those who typically offer this resource include:

  • Religious settings — churches, synagogues, mosques
  • Pastoral counseling centers
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health or social service agencies
  • Funeral homes (many have after-care services)
  • Hospices
  • YMCA or similar organizations

In addition, most public libraries have books under the topics of bereavement, death, widowhood or family. We suggest you consider borrowing books before buying them.

If you need more help or want to explore some of the avenues others have taken in their time of crisis, you may want to contact one of the many grief-related organizations available to you.

Grief-Related National Organizations

Services of the organizations listed here vary from place to place. While most are free, some organizations charge dues or fees for their services. When you call an organization, we recommend you inquire about what they offer and if there are any fees involved.

No listing of this type can be complete and groups such as these can change frequently. Because of this, AARP does not assume responsibility of accuracy of information or the level of service provided.

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
120 Wall Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10005
Phone: (212) 363-3500
Toll Free: (888) 333-AFSP
Fax: (212) 363-6237
E-Mail: inquiry@afsp.org
Web site: www.afsp.org

The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention is dedicated to advancing knowledge about suicide and the ability to prevent it.

The Compassionate Friends
PO Box 3696
Oak Brook, IL 60522-3696
Phone: (630) 990-0010
Toll Free: (877) 969-0010
Web site: www.compassionatefriends.org

The Compassionate Friends is a national non-profit, self-help organization that offers friendship and understanding to bereaved parents, grandparents, and siblings.

Dougy Center for Grieving Children
PO Box 86552
Portland, OR 97286
Phone: (503) 775-5683
Fax: (503) 777-3097
Web site: www.dougy.org

Through their National Center for Grieving Children and Families, the Dougy Center provides support and training locally, nationally, and internationally to individuals and organizations seeking to assist children and teens in grief.

Hospice Foundation of America
2001 S Street, NW, #300
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 638-5419
E-Mail: hfa@hospicefoundation.org
Web site: www.hospicefoundation.org

The Hospice Foundation of American is a non-profit organization that promotes hospice care and works to educate professionals and families in issues relating to caregiving, terminal illness, loss and bereavement.

National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization
1700 Diagonal Road, Suite 625
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 837-1500
Toll Free: (800) 658-8898
Fax: (703) 837-1233
Web site: www.nhpco.org

The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization is an association of professionals and volunteer caregivers that provides educational programs, technical assistance, and public policy advocacy.

Society of Military Widows
5535 Hempstead Way
Springfield, VA 22151
Phone: (703) 750-1342
Fax: (703) 354-4380
E-Mail: naus@ix.netcom.com
Web site: www.militarywidows.org

The Society of Military Widows is a nationwide organization whose purpose is to assist widows of members of all branches of uniformed services of the United States.

TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), Inc.
2001 S Street, NW, Suite 300
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (800) 959-TAPS
Fax: (202) 638-5312
Web site: www.taps.org

TAPS is a national, non-profit organization serving the families and friends of those who have died while serving in the Armed Forces. Services include a military survivor peer support network, grief counseling referral, caseworker assistance, and crisis information.

Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)
60 Revere Drive, Suite 500
Northbrook, IL 60062
Phone: (847) 509-0403
Fax: (847) 480-9282
E-Mail: adec@adec.org
Web site: www.adec.org

ADEC is a professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in death education, bereavement counseling, and the care of the dying.

Independent Local Programs
There are many local bereavement programs that are not affiliated with national organizations. The following organizations frequently sponsor bereavement groups and you should contact them to see if they offer a bereavement program in your area. They include:

  • Religious organizations such as churches, synagogues and mosques
  • Funeral homes
  • Hospices
  • " Aging organizations " such as senior centers or the Area Agency on Aging
  • Hospitals
  • Mental health or counseling center

 

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