St. Mary's New Support Group Helps Grieving Adults

Staff Report From Athens CEO

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

For adults grieving the loss of a loved one, St. Mary's Health Care System now offers its Life After Loss bereavement and grief support group on the first, third, and fifth Thursdays of each month from 7-8 p.m. in the hospital's Lobby Conference Room.

The group is designed to help those who are experiencing the loss of a loved one work through their experience, express their feelings, and find support among others facing a similar loss. People can attend as many sessions as they wish and no registration is required. At each meeting, facilitator Rev. Jessica Chicken will help pose thoughtful questions and guide discussion of healthy and meaningful ways to cope with grief.

Rev. Chicken is a critical care and palliative care chaplain with St. Mary's who holds master's degrees in divinity and thanatology, a field focused specifically on grief and loss. She has more than six years of experience as a hospital chaplain, including extensive work with grieving families. Rev. Chicken is also a certified therapy dog handler who often works with her trained Schnauzer, Ollie.

"We offered a six-week trial version of Life after Loss this fall and it was well attended," Rev. Chicken said. "We are making the group permanent so that we can continue to assist people in learning healthy and effective ways to cope with the loss of someone they love."

Life After Loss is free and open to any adult who would like to attend. Meetings are held in the Lobby Conference Room of St. Mary's Hospital, 1230 Baxter St., Athens. The meeting room is easily accessible from the hospital's parking deck and main entrance.

For information, please call 706.389.3426. If Rev. Chicken is not at her desk, please leave a message and she will return your call as soon as possible.