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Launch of New Zealand Loss and Grief Awareness Week

New Zealand Loss and Grief Awareness Week 2014

This year, Skylight, a respected, national loss and grief support organisation, is launching New Zealand’s very first Loss and Grief Awareness Week.

It will be held from Monday 28 July to Sunday 3 August, 2014.
In brief, the week aims to help New Zealanders to:

• Understand the challenging impact of loss and grief – whatever the cause
• Find effective ways to support grieving children, teens, adults, families, whānau and communities

• Find the right extra help and support, if it’s needed

Life can bring all kinds of difficult losses to deal with. Loss can turn lives upside down and can be far more difficult to deal with than many realise. Typically, the more significant a loss is to someone, the greater the grief experience.

Losses can be caused by such life issues as bereavement, a serious illness or health condition, injury, a broken relationship, separation or divorce, family break up, the challenges of blended families, being a victim of crime, abuse or violence, the consequences of addiction, a family member in prison, a big disappointment or the aftermath of a disaster.

“Whatever has caused the grief, it can be an intense experience for many; it is often isolating and, for some, disabling. We’re wired for grief, but it takes time to work through because it’s a process. Too often losses are minimised and grief unacknowledged, making the experience harder to deal with,” says Tricia Irving Hendry, the Deputy Chief Executive at Skylight,

“The point of this week is to raise greater awareness about the impact grief can have on ordinary lives, for people of all ages, and promote effective ways to support those who are grieving. has been set up to to offer information and a very practical toolkit to assist those wanting to mark the week in some way and get kiwis talking more openly about this challenging life issue.”

We invite all those who are grieving, those who are supporting others, and those who work in support organisations or groups, to be part of this awareness week. Together, we can help support and educate our community about what grief’s like, demonstrate ways to offer support and show how to find the right kind of extra help, if it’s needed.

We expect this awareness week to make a genuine contribution to the wellbeing and resilience of New Zealanders and to become an annual focus.


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