Patient Referral

Unique grief support workshop offered in Butler County


HAMILTON — The Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation of Cincinnati is bringing a program to Butler County designed to help residents deal with grief.

Donna Hartmann is the bereavement coordinator for the agency, and she said the Grief Recovery Method Grief Support Group is a 12-week program that will help people deal with the emotions surrounding grief and the loss of loved ones.

Hartmann spoke with the Journal-News about the program, and why it can even aide those in public service, like police and firefighters who have lost their peers in the line of duty.

Q: Could you talk about the Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation – what is the agency’s mission?

A: Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation is a non-profit, education-focused whose mission is to help healthcare professionals better understand the role of hospice care in maximizing the quality of life for terminally ill patients, their caregivers, families, and friends. It accomplishes its mission by focusing on education regarding excellent end-of-life care and by providing information and resources for use in care of the terminally ill, support for caregivers, and grief resolution for the bereaved. It also provides funds to other non-profit community agencies, healthcare providers, and caregivers who share our goals.

Q: What is the “The Grief Recovery Handbook?”

A: “The Grief Recovery Handbook” was written by John W. James and Russell Friedman, the founders of the Grief Recovery Institute. They have been working with grievers for more than thirty years. Seeing the words “grief” and “recovery” together is often the first awareness that many people have that recovery from significant emotional losses is even possible. There are over 40 kinds of losses that produce grief, including death of a loved one, divorce, the breakup of a relationship, job loss, illness, loss of a pet, moving and more. Recovery from loss is achieved by a series of small and correct action choices made by the griever. Sadly, most people have not been given the necessary information with which to make those choices. This book outlines them and makes recovery possible.

Q: Why is this program important to the residents of Butler County and Greater Cincinnati?

A: One of the least addressed concerns in our society is grief, the normal and natural response to loss. Because no one gets through life without loss of some kind, everyone is a griever. The Grief Recovery Method, based on “The Grief Recovery Handbook,” guides those who wish to resolve their loss issues and move beyond their grief to a richer quality of life.

Q: With the recent loss of a fire fighter and police officer in the past six months, could this program help public safety personnel who are grieving?

A: The Grief Recovery Method is of great value to EMS personnel, police officers and others in the helping professions. Unresolved grief is one of the major causes of job burnout. Resolving their own grief and loss issues enables them to be more effective and available to others who are experiencing loss.

Q: Are there any prerequisites for this program or costs?

A: The only prerequisite is a desire to feel better, and there are no costs for the program. The book and materials are provided by the Crossroads Hospice Charitable Foundation.

Q: How is this program different from a traditional support group?

A: The Grief Recovery Method is quite different from a traditional support group, in that it is an “action program” which requires a commitment to the full 12 weeks, as each week builds on the actions of the week before. The program builds an environment of confidentiality and trust, and each griever works on their unique loss under the guidance of the facilitator. Participants do not compare losses or compare their grief with one another, and do not analyze, advise or counsel others in the group. They do learn to listen to each other as if they were “hearts with ears.” Everyone is different, every relationship is unique. This program works for any type of loss.


WHAT: Grief Recovery Method Grief Support Group, a free 12-week program that will help people deal with the emotions surrounding grief and the loss of loved ones.

WHEN: 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, Feb. 10 through April 27

WHERE: Great Miami Valley Central YMCA, 105 N. 2nd St., Hamilton

CONTACT: Call Donna Hartmann at 513-786-3781 or email