Grief and Loss Counseling

Grief and Loss Counseling at the Student Counseling Center

Through the generous support of the Dorene Dwyer Hammes grant for grief and loss programs, the IU South Bend Student Counseling Center offers special outreach to and programs for students facing grief and loss.

College students of all ages are faced with the prospect of grief and loss: the death of a parent or grandparent, the tragic loss of a friend or classmate, the passing of a trusted teacher or mentor. For students in life transition, the end of a meaningful or long-term relationship can also cause considerable distress. Losses associated with family divorce or unemployment may significantly impact a student’s ability to focus on class work and succeed in college.

Do you know a student who has been impacted by grief or loss?

Here are some ways to help:

  1. Express your concern for the student; let them know that there are services on campus specifically designed to assist students dealing with the pain of grief and loss. Consider referring the student to the Student Counseling Center or direct them to our website:
  2. Communicate this information with other students, staff, or faculty members. Announce the availability of grief and loss services at staff or faculty meetings, in your classroom, or with peers.
  3. Contact the Student Counseling Center staff so that we might reach out to the student who has suffered a loss. Once our counselors have begun work with a student, information shared with us is confidential; other members of the university community may, however, share information with us.
  4. Still not sure how to help? Feel free to contact the Student Counseling Center for a consultation. We can be reached at 520-4125; if a staff member is unable to answer the phone, you may leave a confidential message and your call will be returned.

Individual Grief Counseling

Students facing grief and loss benefit from an empathic environment in which their experiences are validated and understood. Because bereavement is both culturally-based and unique to each individual, counseling can help students express grief in a style that is natural to them. Counselors will also help students utilize their own strengths and learn how to access community or family support systems that will aid them through the grief process.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact the Student Counseling Center at (574) 520-4125 or visit our office in Administration Building Suite 175.

Grief Support Groups

Group work offers a unique sharing and growth experience for participants, providing a sense of connection and trust that springs from honest and caring communication. Grief support groups are especially helpful for those who find comfort in expressing and sharing feelings with others facing loss. The group process reduces the sense of isolation and provides an environment in which one can grow in self-acceptance and ability to trust others. Grief support groups offered by the Student Counseling Center are planned and available based on student interest. Please contact the Center for more information regarding current availability and to find out if a group experience is right for you.

Grief and Loss Resources

Center for Hospice Grief Programs - Information on local individual and group support programs for those experiencing loss.

Ryan's Place - Information on local Community Support Groups

Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) - Resources, Links, and Educational Information regarding death and dying and grief and loss issues.

American Psychological Association Death and Dying - Links to research, news, and other publications related to issues of death and dying.

The Suicide Prevention Center (SPC) of St. Joseph County - Local suicide prevention center including information on area suicide surivivor support group.

United Way 211 - Online search database for a multitude of local community resources and support services (including: Basic Needs, Consumer Services, Criminal Justice and Legal Services, Education, Environmental Quality, Health Care, Income Support and Employment, Individual and Family Life, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Organizational/Community/International Services, Target Populations)