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Contact the Helpline 604-738-9950
Toll-Free: 1-877-779-2223

Training & Educational Programs

Traumatic Loss Support Group Facilitator Training: 

The BC Bereavement Helpline Traumatic Loss Facilitator Training (TLFT) teaches the basics of facilitating a closed, 8-week support group for traumatic loss; homicide, suicide, a loss due to substance use (or any sudden, unexpected loss) in a mixed learning format.

The complete online course consists of six modules; two are live Zoom presentations and four are online study-at-home content. Each training session will take place over a 2 week time period with Module 1 session starting the course and Module 6 session completing the course.  

  • Module 1: Zoom Videoconference 3.5 hour Live Session - Introduction to trauma and support groups
  • Module 2: Online Content - Understanding grief and trauma
  • Module 3: Online Content - Trauma-informed facilitation
  • Module 4: Online Content - Supporting Traumatic Bereavement
  • Module 5: Online Content - Creating a safe and cohesive support group
  • Module 6: Zoom 3.5 hour Live Session - Facilitating the BC Bereavement Helpline curriculum

A certificate of completion is issued to anyone fully completing this online course. 

Upcoming Online Training Sessions: 


April 18 - May 2, 2023

  • Live Zoom sessions will be on Tuesday, April 18, 9am - 12:30pm PST and Tuesday, May 2nd  from 9am to 12:30pm PST. 
  • We will run this session with a minimum of 8 attendees, maximum of 15. Deadline for sign up is Tuesday, April 11. 

Sign up and register here. 

  • Cost: $350 per person (pay by credit card through registration link. If you would like to pay by another method, please email contact@bcbh.ca before registering.)

"This is a great course for anyone looking to learn more about traumatic grief and/or responses. It highlighted some things I would have never thought about and it really emphasizes the importance of creating a safe, non-judgmental, caring space for participants to express themselves in whatever way they feel comfortable doing. Thank you so much for offering this course. I feel better equipped to serve my clients and I am inspired to now offer group sessions-something I hadn't considered doing prior to taking this course."  – Erin, training graduate March 2022

Course Goals:

  1. Increase participant understanding of grief as a life process and how traumatic loss is a unique grief experience. 
  2. Help course participants develop an action plan to implement and facilitate a support group informed by the BCBH support group model. 
  3. Help inform course participants on how traumatic grief is different. 
  4. Build a community of practice for course participants to connect about their efforts to support their community members in living their lives.

This program uses the BCBH Traumatic Loss Support Group model as its core example. However, these learnings can be applied to help anyone who works with bereaved individuals in a peer setting, 1-1 support or with general population bereavement groups.  We welcome laypersons, registered professionals, counselors, and anyone who is interested in learning more on how to support the bereaved. The BCBH closed 8-week support group model is not a counseling model. Rather, this training is based on working to bring those with common lived experiences together to reduce isolation and promote healing through connection. Being with others who have experienced a similar loss has proven to break isolation and create long-term networks of support. 

Public Grief Education

The BC Bereavement Helpline also offers public education seminars on how to cope with grief and loss for schools, employee groups, governments, non-profits, or other institutions. We can customize our presentation to your needs. Honorariums are always welcomed, however we can work with your budgets. Please call 604-738-9950, 1-877-779-2223 or email contact@bcbh.ca for more information or if you wish to schedule a presentation at your work place or organization.

Past LiveStream Events with professionals in the field:

View Here:  https://bcbh.live/AmyTan 


This webinar will provide a brief overview of what is meant by anti-racism and equity, why this is important in healthcare, the ways in which racism can present itself in grief and bereavement support services, and suggestions for how to address it with increased awareness in effort towards achieving more racial equity.

Facilitator Biography

Dr. Amy Tan, MD MSc (Pall Med) CCFP(PC) FCFP

Dr Amy Tan is a palliative care & family physician, educator, researcher, anti-racism consultant, writer and health equity advocate. Dr. Tan is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Palliative Care and Dept of Family Practice at the UBC Faculty of Medicine, and has been in practice since 2005, now based in Victoria, BC. She is the Director of Teacher Assessment and Support in UBC Faculty of Medicine’s Faculty Development Office, and an Anti-Racism Support Program Faculty Mentor for UBC's Family Medicine Residency Program. Her scholarly work focusses on culturally-safe communication with patients, ethical shared decision-making, an anti-racist approach to care, primary palliative care, and advance care planning. Dr. Tan is Section Editor for Racism & Health for PLOS Global Health Journal that addresses deeply entrenched global inequities in public health and amplifies the voices of underrepresented and historically excluded communities. Dr. Tan has been speaking out about the intersection of systemic racism and COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic and is committed to ongoing work towards solutions for the structural inequities that the pandemic is laying bare in Canada.

View Here:  https://bcbh.live/MarneyThompson


This webinar will provide an overview of Prolonged Grief Disorder (PGD). Included will be an introduction to the DSM diagnostic criteria, a review of risk factors, best practice approaches to treatment, and helpful resources. There will be time for discussions and questions so please bring your experiences. 

Facilitator Biography
Marney Thompson, M.A., Registered Clinical Counsellor

Marney Thompson is currently the Director of Bereavement Services at Victoria Hospice. Since 1994, she has worked hospice palliative care, providing information, support, and counselling to patients, families and health care providers. In 2016, Marney co-authored the award-winning, “Transitions in Dying and Bereavement: A Psychosocial Guide for Hospice and Palliative Care, which won 3rd place in the American Journal of Nursing’s book of the year award in the palliative and hospice care category. In recent years, her primary interest has been in the field of grief and bereavement. Marney completed training at Columbia University’s Centre for Complicated Grief and has since focussed her teaching and clinical practice primarily in this area. In 2017, she co-authored an article published in the Journal of Loss and Trauma titled: “Complicated grief in Canada: Exploring the client and professional landscape.”

View Here: https://bcbh.live/CatherineHajnal


When faced with adversity we will likely hear words letting us know how resilient or strong we are or need to be. We might also be encouraged to think positively or be grateful for what we still have. These words can fall flat, leaving the receiver feeling unseen and unheard in their experience. Join us as Dr. Catherine Hajnal explores resilience, growth, and toxic positivity in the face of adversity when you can't take the pain away. Dr. Catherine Hajnal will be presenting the topic in a youtube live-streamed educational video followed by a live Q&A. 

Facilitator Biography

Dr. Catherine Hajnal is a Grief Educator, Speaker and Consultant who focuses in the area of grief and loss. Dr. Hajnal has spoken in many different settings and runs numerous workshops in the area of grief and loss as she shares her own experiences and educates on this important topic.

View herebcbh.live/JoshuaBlack


In this educational video Joshua speaks to the impact grief has on our dreams and how grief dreams help us in our healing process by continuing our bonds with our loved ones. Joshua then answered questions from the live audience. 

Facilitator Biography
Joshua Black, PhD, is a grief researcher, speaker, consultant, and host of the Grief Dreams Podcast. His work focuses on dreams and continuing bonds after loss, including prenatal and pet loss. As one of the world’s leading academic experts in grief dreams, which can be dreams of the deceased, Dr. Black has directed his efforts on raising awareness about this fascinating phenomenon through media interviews, in addition to speaking engagements and workshops.

For more information about grief dreams from Dr. Joshua Black, please click the following links to his website and podcast.


View Herebcbh.live/JessicaWolf

Facilitator and author, Jessica Wolf Ortiz speaks to the specific challenges of a suicide loss and the experiences of those who are left behind. She helps us understand why this is considered a traumatic loss, some of the common feelings and thoughts of suicide survivors (those left behind) and how this one event does not define a life. 

Facilitator Biography
Jessica Wolf Ortiz is a registered clinical counsellor with the BC Clinical Counselling Association and has a Masters degree in Family Therapy. Suicide bereaved herself, Jessica has devoted part of her 20-year clinical work to grief therapy and, uniquely, suicide bereavement. She is a co-facilitator of the BCBH/BC Crisis Centre online suicide grief support groups.

Jessica is a TED Talk speaker, and the author of the book “Overcoming Suicide Bereavement: The Experience of Those that Stay” about the aftermath of suicide and the unique aspects of suicide bereavement. This book, currently available in Spanish, is in the process of being translated into English.

In Gratitude

We'd like to thank the following partners in funding our training and educational programs: