October 2, 4, and 6 | Grief, Bereavement & Mental Health Summit

VANCOUVER, BC — July 14, 2021 | The BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (BCHPCA) is
excited to formally announce its more than $64,000 funding award from Infrastructure Canada
and Community Foundations of Canada for its project submitted under the Canada Healthy
Communities Initiative. BCHPCA was one of three cross hub applications approved to improve
the quality of life of British Columbians now and following the pandemic.

“Grief and bereavement support is the second largest service category for BC hospice societies
driven by community need and further fueled by COVID-19,” explains Donna Flood, President of
the BCHPCA and Executive Director of the Prince George Hospice Society. “Grief is a response
to any type of personal loss and is experienced by nearly every British Columbian at some point
in their life.” COVID-19 has precipitated a multitude of losses to individuals, not only by way of
death of loved ones, but also through isolation, income insecurity, cancelled milestone
celebrations, and a lessened ability to obtain support and resources that were utilized prior to
COVID restrictions. Society’s lack of comfort and ability in addressing and supporting those
grieving or bereaved adds to the complexity.

Pablita Thomas, BCHPCA’s Executive Director, says “We recognized the grief and bereavement
needs within communities and as impacted by COVID-19 and we will be using BCHPCA’s
Canada’s Healthy Communities Initiative funding to provide enhanced grief and bereavement
support to British Columbians as we continue through the pandemic and into the recovery
phase.” The programming will include a public Grief, Bereavement and Mental Health Summit,
virtual community outreach, and a dedicated webpage, all with the goals of:

  • Connecting: Engaging and bringing together grief and bereavement stakeholders of
    diverse communities, local, national and international expertise, government
    organizations, and the public and providing a space to collaborate on best practices.
  • Educating: Sharing expert knowledge of varied perspectives between individuals and
    caregivers, interdisciplinary health care practitioners, and funders and policy makers on
    grief and bereavement.
  • Transforming & Integrating: Collaborating to create action plans and programs that
    policy makers and care teams can take back to improve the grief and bereavement
    landscape across BC.

BCHPCA’s Grief, Bereavement and Mental Health Summit will be held virtually on October 2,
4 and 6. The Summit will examine the Metamorphosis of Grief and Bereavement as it has
transformed with the advent of COVID and as we move into an environment of integration
during the recovery phase. Providing a public platform for interdisciplinary education, idea
sharing, and awareness regarding grief, bereavement and mental health in light of COVID-19,
the Summit will collaboratively analyze current gaps to better support the future mental health of
British Columbians. The Summit will also act as a modality to educate funding organizations and
policy makers on grief, bereavement and consequent mental health issues, the vital support role
that hospices play, and value of integrating grief and bereavement into COVID recovery
strategies.

The Grief, Bereavement and Mental Health Summit will be the first of its kind, actively
collaborating for change in caring for those suffering from grief and bereavement throughout BC.
Visit the Grief, Bereavement and Mental Health Summit events page to express your
interest in attending the 2021 Grief, Bereavement and Mental Health Summit on October
2, 4, and 6.

BC Hospice Palliative Care Association (www.bchpca.org)
The BC Hospice Palliative Care Association is a not-for-profit, public membership organization,
which has been representing individuals and organizations committed to promoting and
delivering hospice palliative care to British Columbians and Yukoners for over 34 years. Our
members provide a broad range of hospice palliative care programs and services to people in
need across the provinces of BC and the Yukon with serious illnesses, their loved ones who are
grieving, and their caregivers. The services hospice societies deliver are accessible to all,
regardless of the type of illness, age, sex, sexual orientation, race, culture, and religious beliefs.

For more information, please contact:
British Columbia Hospice Palliative Care Association
Phone: (604) 267-7024
Email: events@bchpca.org
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