Hospice starts mens’s bereavement group

Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard this week announced the beginning of the Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Bereavement Network. This new mutual help group aims at supporting men who have suffered the loss of a spouse or partner, according to a press release.

The Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Bereavement Network will meet at 2 pm at 24 Alex Way beginning on Wednesday, December 1. “Meetings will focus on assisting widowers in addressing their grief, readjusting to their new life situation, and providing interaction with peers who have the same experiences,” the press release said.

Bruce Balter, a professional Hospice staff member and Foster Greene, a volunteer member of the group, will facilitate the meeting.

The Men’s Bereavement Group, Inc., a nonprofit organized in April 2009 on Martha’s Vineyard by widowers who encountered difficulty obtaining support from mixed-gender group sessions after the loss of their spouses, provides funding.

Research recognizes that men grieve differently from women and have their unique needs during the grieving process. This is especially acute and accentuated when men face the loss of a spouse or life partner and the challenges of getting on with their lives.

“Men who have attended the group meetings have found it to be extremely beneficial in getting through this difficult time of their lives,” Sam Feldman, president of the Men’s Bereavement Group, Inc. said. “We are fortunate to have an organization like Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard in our community. Their understanding of grief and the needs of men in these situations combined with their willingness to work with us to support men dealing with these issues makes them a wonderful partner.”

Terre Young, Executive Director of the Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard, said Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard provides regular grief support and is perfectly positioned to provide a framework for the group.

“This opportunity allows us to expand our outreach to the community amongst a population of men who have unique needs. What is most important to us at HMV is the make-up of this group, designed to be a mutual help group and lead by an individual who has gone through the experience and is willing to help others by sharing his knowledge.”

The men’s bereavement support group will transition into the Hospice’s Martha’s Vineyard Men’s Bereavement Network. Men who have suffered the loss of a spouse or partner are asked to participate in the group by just showing up at a meeting. Family members of men who have experienced a loss and feel participation in this group might be of help, or anyone wanting more information about the group can contact Foster Greene by phone at 508-693-3758.

For more information on Hospice go to hospiceofmv.org or call 508-693-0189.

For more information on the Men’s Bereavement Group, Inc go to mensbereavement.org or call 800-309-3658.