Grief recovery support available on Guam and the CNMI

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From left to right: Michelle Sasamoto, Grief Recovery Specialist; Darlene Garcia, Grief Recovery Specialist, and; Amanda Lambros, Executive Director of the Grief Recovery Institute of Australia and New Zealand (From PNC video)

Guam – Whether it’s the death of a family member, the ending of a relationship, or being laid off, everyone experiences loss at some point in their life. In one woman’s case, it was the sudden loss of a loved one that spurred the emergence of a new psychological resource for the people of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands.

PNC interviewed Grief Recovery Specialists Darlene Garcia and Michelle Sasamoto, and Amanda Lambros, Executive Director of the Grief Recovery Institute of Australia and New Zealand on available support for those who are going through the grieving process.

“In 2015, I lost my husband to a motorcycle accident. At that time, I looked for resources on the island and unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything that could help me. Not that there aren’t any resources here, I’m sure that there are people who have found things for  themselves. But for me personally, I couldn’t find anything,” Garcia said.

Determined to heal, Darlene Garcia eventually learned about the Grief Recovery Institute, an organization that specializes in helping people cope with loss using one on one or group programs. When she found out that their services were not being offered on Guam, Garcia flew off-island to receive training to become a grief recovery specialist.

Along with three other newly certified specialists, Garcia wanted to bring the certification program to the region by establishing Grief Recovery Guam, which not only offers support services for dealing with grief, but also coaching services on what to do after recovery, as well as human resource consultations to make workplaces more compassionate.

To expand their services, the members of Grief Recovery Guam eventually got into contact with Amanda Lambros, the executive director of the Grief Recovery Institute branch of Australia and New Zealand to organize a four-day training session that led to the certification of 16 new grief recovery specialists from Guam, Saipan, and Australia.

If you are interested in grief recovery services, talks, or training, contact Grief Recovery Guam on Facebook for more information.