Grief and Bereavement Supports for Health Care Workers

Mental Health Supports for Health Care Workers 

With the launch of the new BEACON Digital Therapy Service provided by the Government of Ontario, HPCO will be suspending the Health Care Worker Support Line effective October 1st 2020. We are very grateful to the Clinicians that volunteered and staffed HPCO’s support line for frontline healthcare workers in Ontario. Callers greatly appreciated and benefitted from the psychosocial support provided to them to help manage stress and build resilience. We recommend anyone in need of support for stress and mental wellbeing contact BEACON

As part of its provincial support for COVID-19, the Government of Ontario is currently funding the standard BEACON service in full for residents of Ontario age 16 or older, making BEACON free of charge for stress and mental wellbeing concerns during COVID-19. The BEACON service includes customized support for frontline health workers. Ontario residents can click here to access BEACON.

If you are looking for other types of mental health support (i.e., not iCBT), click here ›

Virtual Sessions on Emotional, Spiritual & Compassionate Care

If you are a health care worker/health service provider, you are invited to view a series of archived sessions where we discussed emotional, spiritual and compassionate care regarding COVID-19. Each session began with a 20 minute presentation covering a set of topics. The topics for each session are outlined below. Following the presentation, there was a discussion period which allowed participants to debrief and receive mutual support during this crisis. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these sessions, please email

1. ARCHIVED Session 1: Apr 9, 2020 – Preparing ourselves for the marathon of a Pandemic

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Crisis Management 101
– What is “Pre-Post Traumatic Stress
– Identifying “Pre-Post Traumatic Stress” Symptoms
– Self Care for the pandemic marathon
– Explanation of the Compassion Fatigue Test

2. ARCHIVED Session 2: Apr 14, 2020 – Coping with The Fear of Infection

Presentation Slides, available here. 

– Identifying the fears of infection.
– Coping with the fear of infection.
– My brain will just not shut off.
– Fear of infecting my family.
– How will we cope with the possible death of coworkers?

3. ARCHIVED Session 3: Apr 16, 2020 – The Overwhelming World Pandemic and How It Affects Our Care

Presentation Slides, available here.

– How the big picture affects our personhood.
– How the big picture affects the care we provide.
– Staying hopeful during a pandemic.
– Reviewing the Compassion Fatigue Test

4. ARCHIVED Session 4: Apr 21, 2020 – Coping with Multiple and Complex Loss

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Working with complicate grief.
– Coping with multiple losses.
– Coping with traumatic grief
– Companioning Model of Grief.

5. ARCHIVED Session 5: Apr 23, 2020 – When Families Can Not Be Present at The Time of Death

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Organizing a virtual death
– How can this work?
– Supporting family member who are watching their loved ones die remotely

6. ARCHIVED Session 6: Apr 30, 2020 – Dealing with Suffering and Spirituality

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Reviewing information concerning hospice palliative care and suffering.
– Working with spiritual themes.
– Working with suffering clients and family members.

7. ARCHIVED Session 7: May 5, 2020 – Struggling with Meaning and Purpose During A Pandemic

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Supporting people as they question meaning in purpose during the pandemic.
– Supporting our coworkers as they struggle with the theme of meaning and purpose
– Supporting ourselves as we question our own view of meaning and purpose.
– Reviewing the Compassion Fatigue Test

8. ARCHIVED Session 8: May 7, 2020 – Reviewing and Reassessing Pre-Post Traumatic Stress

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Check in with where we are at
– Additional information on coping and self care
– Resources for coping

9. ARCHIVED Session 9: May 12, 2020 – Assessing and Coping with Exhaustion

Presentation Slides, available here.

– Is this more than exhaustion?
– Is this Active Traumatic Stress?
– How do I cope?

10. ARCHIVED Session 10: May 14, 2020 – Next Steps

Presentation Slides, available here. 

– Future needs?
– Additional topics?
– Weekly debriefing?
– How to keep going

Staying Well Series

Hospice Palliative Care Ontario (HPCO) is proud to launch the new Stay Well Series to support health care providers, caregivers, individuals, and families who could benefit from daily reflections to help guide and comfort them during the COVID 19 Pandemic. Many individuals are suffering, and we hope these inspirational messages can help in some small way to lift our spirits in this very challenging time.

HPCO has connected with Eugene Dufour to inspire us each morning with a encouraging message in this Staying Well Series.  Eugene is a clinically trained Individual, Marital and Family Therapist, Bereavement Specialist, Compassion Fatigue Educator and Therapist and a Critical Incident Stress Debriefing Facilitator. He received his Bachelors and Masters degree from King’s College at the University of Western Ontario.

Eugene has been working in the area of bereavement and trauma work, hospice palliative care, and the HIV/AIDS movement for the past 30 years.  He is a past president of the Ontario Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.  He is also a regular workshop presenter at the annual HPCO Hospice Palliative Care conference each April.

In 2002, Eugene was presented with the Commemorative Medal for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2nd Golden Jubilee by the Governor General of Canada for his work in hospice palliative care.

Eugene presently works as a Psychosocial Spiritual Care Clinician with the Huron Perth Palliative Care Outreach Team. He lives in Bayfield, Ontario.

Eugene’s Email:


Disclaimer: The opinions and views expressed by course facilitators and presenters are not that of HPCO’s or HPCO employees’.