Jeff’s Place, a nonprofit organization that offers hope and healing to grieving children, teens, families and individuals, has responded to the growing need for adult bereavement services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by launching a Corporate Grief Support initiative designed to help companies adequately assist grieving employees.
The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an existing need for supportive and comprehensive adult bereavement services in the United States, particularly in workplaces. Long before the pandemic, a survey by the Grief Recovery Institute calculated the economic loss of productivity due to grief as $75 billion.
Now, with over one million deaths from COVID-19 in the United States alone, skyrocketing financial losses due to lost productivity as employees struggle to cope with their grief make it evident that many companies are unequipped to adequately support bereaved employees. The standard bereavement leave of three to five days that is offered by most American companies barely covers the initial funeral planning period for most people, and some companies offer no leave at all. Additionally, while many companies are beginning to offer mental health benefits, very few offer resources that address the specific needs of bereaved individuals, such as access to grief experts. Grief occurs along the continuum of loss and requires attention and support throughout the entire process: when anticipating a loss (such as from a terminal illness), coping with a death, and upon re-entry to work following a bereavement leave.
The Corporate Grief Support initiative at Jeff’s Place addresses the call for employers to implement adequate bereavement policies by offering expert assistance from grief specialists. While Jeff’s Place is technically a children’s bereavement program, grief is not exclusive to children and often affects entire families, whose adult members are usually part of the workforce. Jeff’s Place can provide a variety of employee-centered approaches to support grieving employees. Each approach is tailored to the company’s specific needs.
Jeff’s Place offers the following services for companies looking to expand or create bereavement policies:
- Assist in the creation or revisioning of bereavement policies
- Create structures and systems that support employees returning to work after a death
- Provide education and training for managers and those in leadership positions on how to support employees who are grieving
- Provide Lunch & Learn workshops on general or tailored aspects of Grief & Loss
- Offer drop-in groups (ongoing) or closed session support groups for employees who are bereaved
- Offer limited 1:1 sessions with bereaved employees to determine needs
- Act as a resource in matching support services/referrals with specific needs of grieving employees
Offering emotional support and accommodations for grieving employees not only fosters greater presenteeism/less absenteeism and productivity, most importantly, but also cultivates a community of care that increases communication, commitment, and engagement.
“Bereaved adults need adequate resources to process their grief so they can continue supporting themselves and their families,” noted Jeff’s Place Founder Dr. Jenny Kaplan. She continued, “Grief is a problem for all ages. We are pleased to offer a solution for companies looking to better accommodate their bereaved employees.”
For more information on the Corporate Grief Support initiative, please visit https://jeffsplace.org/corporate-grief-support/ or contact Dr. Kaplan at firstname.lastname@example.org.