6 July 2020
Grief Coach News - July 2020
COVID-19 has put grief center stage. Here are some highlights from Grief Coach's whirlwind Spring.
The world doesn't resemble the one we were living in when I sent our last newsletter. Back then I would have been delighted to imagine a world where everyone could speak openly about grief, but not like this. Death rates are rising, at the same time that support groups, in-person therapy and even hugs from neighbors have been taken away. This has made for a whirlwind Spring for Grief Coach, with national media coverage, new clients, and a new text-message series for people who have lost a loved one to COVID-19. I'm glad we can help but - like all of you - am desperate for a safer world, where we can be together in all the ways we need.
Before we get to the news, here's a 'hugging text message' illustration created by my 12-year old daughter, Pippa. It was featured in some of our national coverage this Spring, which was really special for me.
Hospice Contract Will Support Thousands in Ohio
Grief Coach has been selected to deliver bereavement care for 6 Ohio hospices.
In June Grief Coach signed a contract with Hospice of the Western Reserve (HWR) in Ohio, who became the first hospice in the U.S. to deliver bereavement care via text. Next month the contract extends to 5 additional hospices in Ohio, who will all be using Grief Coach to support their grieving families.
HWR President and CEO Bill Finn, is known for his leadership and vision in providing hospice care. "More than ever, it is critical that we find innovative new ways to care for people after a loss," says Finn. "I'm proud that our bereavement team will now be offering personalized, text-based support to the many hospice families we care for each year. Knowing that every one of our bereaved family members now has the opportunity to receive support every week, all year long, is wonderful. Grief Coach also creates a brand new communication and outreach channel for us at a time that many of our more traditional ways of providing in-person grief support are on hold due to the COVID crisis."
Read more about our work with Hospice of the Western Reserve.
Grief Coach Now Supports People After a Loss to COVID-19
I never imagined needing to add a new cause of death to the Grief Coach system, but am glad we're helping our subscribers grieving a COVID loss.
In March we worked with the Grief Services team at Virginia Mason to launch a new series of text messages for grievers wrestling with the particular challenges of losing someone to COVID-19. One of the benefits of text-based bereavement support is that it can be delivered safely, from a distance, anywhere in the world. We send texts to help with feelings such as:
- Sadness if you couldn't be with your loved one at the end.
- Frustration about delayed access to testing or treatment.
- Guilt or worry that you may have unknowingly exposed your loved one to the virus.
- A lack of closure if you weren't able to host a funeral, shiva or other ritual to honor your loved one.
- Anger with friends, neighbors and others who aren't following local guidelines.
National Media Coverage
Media coverage from NBC, Employee Benefit News and Psychology Today, led to calls from nursing homes, hospices and even police departments, each with caring, innovative leaders looking for new ways to support staff, patients and families.
Grief Coach was featured in a comprehensive article from NBC News on April 28th. The reporter spent time getting to know Grief Coach, even calling 3 of our subscribers to talk to them about their experiences with our text messages. Later the same day we were featured in this piece from Employee Benefit News, and then also became their cover story for May/June.
And THEN my inbox exploded.
20 Affiliates Now Selling Grief Coach Subscriptions
Our Affiliate Program expands Grief Coach's reach while also creating new revenue streams for therapists, support group facilitators, End-of-Life program providers, and others looking for ways to extend grief support to their clients and followers.
We launched an Affiliate Program in March, and have already signed up 20 affiliates including MyKeeper, GiveInKind, Cake, Lantern, Widow411, and HealGrief. I love that our Affiliate Program helps to spread the word about Grief Coach, while also creating revenue streams for organizations who do important work to support people after a loss.