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McMaster-CMHA initiative in Hamilton offers tips on pandemic loss and grief

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McMaster-CMHA initiative in Hamilton offers tips on pandemic loss and grief

Everyone works through loss in their own way — and a resource has been created in Hamilton to help people find their best path through grief.

McMaster University’s School of Social Work and the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) Hamilton have collaborated to produce a project called A Way Through. The online platform aggregates resources on grief and loss, in an effort to make them more openly accessble to people who might have difficulty finding mental health supports in the community. The more than 500 resources on the platform are organized by the type of visitor and their unique needs.

“We specifically created these sections to assist people who are supporting themselves as well as those who are seeking information for someone else, such as service providers and community agencies which serve underserved groups and marginalized communities,” project lead Ameil Joseph said in a McMaster release. “They can take what they need and apply it in ways that best speak to the people and communities that they serve.”

Joseph added that the School of Social Work and the Hamilton CMHA chapter said the idea for A Way Through grew out of the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Private psychotherapy tends to be very expensive, and the pandemic has also kept community support groups from gathering. Community agencies also face heavy demand.

“We are in a system where psychotherapy is not always easily accessible for everyone who needs it,” said Sue Phipps, CEO of CMHA Hamilton.

A Way Through is funded by a McMaster COVID-19 Research Grant and supported by a MITACS Accelerate Research Grant. It is registered with the World Pandemic Research Network in partnership with CMHA Hamilton.

The site is located at: a-way-through.mcmaster.ca.

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