Grantee Spotlight: Advocates and Jeff's Place Collaboration

Karen Katz, Clinician, Advocates Karen Katz, Clinician, Advocates

The Parmenter Foundation has proudly granted more than $13,000 to Advocates for its collaboration with Jeff’s Place to establish a COVID-19 grief support program. Framingham-based Advocates shapes creative solutions for community members who face developmental, mental health, or other life challenges. As the organization continued to provide behavioral health services during the pandemic, via virtual and outdoor sessions, its clinicians recognized that adults needed additional support specific to the mental health effects of this unprecedented crisis.

Many MetroWest residents have been experiencing increasing levels of loneliness, depression and anxiety, as they are either fearful of or have already been touched by illness, financial difficulties, or other hardships. Some are grieving life changes, such as not being able to see friends and family members, and others have missed out on the typical rituals around grieving a death, due to recent restrictions.

With guidance and training from grief expert Jennifer Kaplan, founder and CEO of Jeff’s Place children’s bereavement support center in Framingham, Advocates will run new, specialized support groups to address these issues. The approved four 12-week sessions are specifically tailored for those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19 and others who have experienced any sort of loss during this challenging time.