AMES, Iowa – Across Iowa people are doing their best to adapt to significant changes to their lives and to a new normal. Not only has the pandemic brought many changes, but for many it has caused a loss of employment, community or connection with loved ones. This sense of loss, combined with the stress brought on with the pandemic, has left people in many walks of life feeling sad, down, lonely and depressed.
In response to this sense of loss and isolation, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, in collaboration with COVID Recovery Iowa, will begin offering “Grief and Loss: What to Expect.” This online program is designed to provide education about feelings of grief and loss and how to manage and process them.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has created a great deal of uncertainty about the future and a sense of loss over the past,” said Diane Eischeid, a crisis/outreach counselor with COVID Recovery Iowa and ISU Extension and Outreach.
“It is important as we navigate this time that we recognize the signs and symptoms of grief, what to expect and how to manage these feelings,” Eischeid said.
ISU Extension and Outreach will offer “Grief and Loss: What to Expect” during lunch hours. Each program will last for approximately one hour. Those dates and times are as follows:
- Thursday, Oct. 15 at 12 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 22 at 12 p.m.
- Thursday, Oct. 29 at 12 p.m.
- Thursday, Nov. 5 at 12 p.m.
Eischeid is leading the program along with crisis/outreach counselor Andrea Gustafson. This program is being offered at no cost to all those in the community interested in learning about this topic. To register, go to https://www.extension.iastate.edu/humansciences//events?filter= and select the program, date and time you are interested in. Participants will receive a unique URL prior to the program to access the Zoom hosted program.
Iowa Concern, offered by ISU Extension and Outreach, provides confidential access to stress counselors and an attorney for legal education, as well as information and referral services for a wide variety of topics. With a toll-free phone number, live chat capabilities and a website, Iowa Concern services are available 24 hours a day, seven days per week at no charge. To reach Iowa Concern, call 800-447-1985; language interpretation services are available. Or, visit the website, https://www.extension.iastate.edu/iowaconcern/, to live chat with a stress counselor one-on-one in a secure environment. Or, email an expert regarding legal, finance, stress, or crisis and disaster issues.
COVID Recovery Iowa offers a variety of services to anyone affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. Virtual counselors provide counseling, activities and referral information, and help find resources for any Iowan seeking personal support. Iowans of all ages may join groups online for activities and learn creative strategies for coping with the effects of the pandemic. COVID Recovery Iowa will announce upcoming programs on the website and via all social media to help Iowans build coping skills, resilience and emotional support. To request support, go to https://www.COVIDrecoveryiowa.org.
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