Coping with Grief
The UKZN Chapter of the South African Medical Students Association (SAMSA) hosted an enlightening webinar to assist students and members of the public to cope with grief.
The webinar included presentations by three experts in the field of mental health: Ms Cindy Coleman (clinical psychologist), Ms Tracey Brand (social psychologist) and Dr Hilton Humphries (research psychologist).
Medical student and president of UKZN’s SAMSA, Ms Serini Reddy commented: ‘The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to face many different types of loss in addition to losing family and friends, including economic loss, the loss of safety and security, and the loss of empowerment. We are directly grieving the loss of all these things and the mental health consequences of the pandemic are still ahead of us. It is therefore important to nurture our sense of wellness and look after our mental health. This was the purpose of arranging this webinar.’
A key take home message from the presenters was, ‘If someone is grieving, it is best to support them by being there for them and listening to them when they need to talk. Do not judge anyone’s grief as long as they are safe and okay. If someone has experienced something traumatic, is potentially self-harming or stuck in unprocessed grief, then it is important to help them seek professional help.’
The presenters outlined the five stages of grief, namely, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. A member of the audience commented, ‘Thanks to all speakers. I lost my father in July last year and I could relate to Ms Cindy Coleman’s presentation on the five stages. I’m also grateful to know that it is okay to fall apart even though you thought you had it all together.’
The webinar is available on YouTube and can be accessed at https://youtu.be/QCr--dK_PCs
Words: Nawaal Jacobs