Types of resources for helping others

Support Mental Health

Whether you want to help someone with their grief in a practical, everyday way or if you want to connect people with the professional support they need, be informed about what type of support you can provide or connect someone with.

Some people might prefer leaning on friends and family during this time, others may prefer working privately with a professional, and still others might get the most out of a support group.

Since there is no “right” way to deal with loss, it might take some time to find the solution that helps the most.

Mental Health Support Resources

When it comes to support for grief and mental health, consider the particular needs, preferences and budget of the person you'd like to help.

Consider the approach and method that will work best for the bereaved.

The bereaved's social preferences and types of challenges they are facing should influence the type of support you connect them with.

For instance, a faith-based support group may be better option for someone who adheres to a religion.

Supporting the daily life of the bereaved

A person may also want help with daily tasks in order to have more time to focus on themselves, their grief and/or mental health challenges.

The first way to help someone is to be supportive of them and to ask them how you can help them.

In some cases, taking care of or hiring outside help to assist with everyday tasks is a way to help the bereaved by reducing their stress and giving them the necessary time to deal with their grief.

Helpful Tips


  • Informal (friends, family and community) vs. formal (licensed professionals)
  • One-on-one assistance vs. a support group
  • Short vs. long term support
  • Targeted assistance dealing with grief, or general mental health support
  • In-person, online or by phone
  • Free or paid
  • If seeking professional assistance, the type of mental health worker: Psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, counsellor, social worker

  • Meals
  • Cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Yardwork
  • Pet care
  • Babysitting
  • Groceries
  • Pharmacy pickups
  • Appointment making

Even if they do not directly provide free or low cost options, organizations such as the one linked below can usually point someone in the right direction for finding the help they need.

Grief recovery after a substance passing


Hospice Net (for teens)


Mothers in Sympathy and Support (for parents who have lost children or infants)


Actively Moving Forward (for young adults)


Concerns of Police Survivors


Therapy, also referred to as "psychotherapy" or "talk therapy," is a broad term for a variety of approaches to mental health treatment.

Generally, therapy involves speaking with a trained and licensed mental health professional to get help with their mental health challenges.

With the assistance of a mental health professional, therapy helps diagnosis mental illnesses, identify emotional and behavioral patterns that are the cause or symptoms of mental health difficulties, and develop effective strategies for managing mental health challenges.

An individual can rely on therapy to address specific issues (like grief) or for their general mental well being.


The main differences between psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counsellors, and social workers relate to their educational background and their methods in treating mental illness.

Grief specialists can be found among all types of mental health professionals.

Psychiatrist

  • A psychiatrist is a medical doctor with a focus on mental illness and its treatment.
  • Psychiatrists focus on the biological side of mental health.
  • Psychiatrists tend to deal with more complex mental health issues.
  • While psychiatrists may conduct therapy, they tend to rely on medications for treatment.

Therapist

  • While used as general term for mental health professional, a therapist or psychotherapist is specifically a licensed and certified mental health professional with at least a master's degree and sometimes a doctorate (PhD).
  • Therapists help people develop strategies for managing their mental health by talking through their problems.
  • Therapists will consider deeper causes of mental illness and the ways past experiences have impacted an individual.

Counsellor

  • A counsellor is usually a licensed and certified mental health professional with a master's degree but not all states require licensing or specific training for counsellors.
  • Counsellors tend to focus on specific issues - e.g., grief, marriage problems, family problems, addiction - but may also provide general support.
  • Counsellors are usually less concerned with the deep-rooted causes of mental health challenges and are more focused on coping mechanism that can be used now.

Social Worker

  • A social worker is a licensed mental health professional with a master's degree in social work.
  • Social workers are like counsellors and help people with problems in their everyday lives.
  • Social workers focus on coordinating the mental health and other support an individual needs to deal with the challenges they are facing.
  • A social work is usually part of and more familiar with the bureaucracy and institutions that can provide mental health and other services to improve someone's quality of life.## Psychologist
  • Mental health professional with a PhD (i.e., non-medical doctor) that specializes in human behavior.
  • Help people learn healthy ways to manage their mental health and mental health challenges.
  • Diagnose mental health disorders, make referrals, and in some states, may prescribe medicine.

Psychiatrist

  • Medical doctor with a focus on mental illness and its treatment.
  • Focus on the biological side of mental health.
  • Tend to deal with more complex mental health issues.
  • While psychiatrists may conduct therapy, they tend to rely on medications for treatment.

Therapist

  • While used as general term for mental health professional, a therapist or psychotherapist is specifically a licensed and certified mental health professional with at least a master's degree and sometimes a doctorate (PhD).
  • Therapists help people develop strategies for managing their mental health by talking through their problems.
  • Therapists will consider deeper causes of mental illness and the ways past experiences have impacted an individual.

Counsellor

  • A counsellor is usually a licensed and certified mental health professional with a master's degree but not all states require licensing or specific training for counsellors.
  • Counsellors tend to focus on specific issues - e.g., grief, marriage problems, family problems, addiction - but may also provide general support.
  • Counsellors are usually less concerned with the deep-rooted causes of mental health challenges and are more focused on coping mechanism that can be used now.

Social Worker

  • A social worker is a licensed mental health professional with a master's degree in social work.
  • Social workers are like counsellors and help people with problems in their everyday lives.
  • Social workers focus on coordinating the mental health and other support an individual needs to deal with the challenges they are facing.
  • A social work is usually part of and more familiar with the bureaucracy and institutions that can provide mental health and other services to improve someone's quality of life.

For some people, a faith-based approach to grief, whether in support groups or therapy, is preferred.

Finding a general local support group through GriefShare is a good starting point, but make sure to review whether or not the options presented align with your faith and beliefs.

You can also search for local grief-based support groups or therapists or communicate with religious organizations or houses of worship to learn more about the kinds of support available to you.

GriefShare

Providers to Contact


Find a local grief group

Grief groups are support groups for people grieving the death of a loved one. They can provide emotional support and practical advice for dealing with grief. They can also be a place to share stories and connect with others going through a similar experience.

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Find a local grief therapist

A grief therapist is a mental health professional who specializes in helping people deal with grief. They can provide support and guidance to help you cope with loss and process emotions.

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Support Mental Health