North Idaho Professionals Talk About Grief in Coeur d'Alene

Aug 30, 2018

About 160 professionals met in Coeur d'Alene Thursday to discuss ways to talk about grief.
Credit Hospice of North Idaho

Today [Thursday] is National Grief Awareness Day.

In Coeur d’Alene, about 160 people, from medical professionals to social workers to police officers, have been meeting to talk about grief and ways they can encourage discussions about it.

When someone as prominent as a school principal takes his own life, it can shake a small community. That happened last spring when Coeur d’Alene High School Principal Troy Schueller committed suicide.

The four hospices in Kootenai County decided it was time to elevate the conversation about the grief and try to take away the stigma. So on Thursday, they held a daylong seminar at Hospice of North Idaho.

Hospice professionals such as Amy Garwood, a registered nurse at Kindred Hospice, deal with death and grief all the time. But she says others who encounter it occasionally, such as police officers, sometimes need a reminder about how to handle situations involving grief.

"We had triple the attendance we thought might come to it and so it’s really clear that this is an important topic. A lot of people in the room nodding and it’s helping to reinforce the skills that they already have and have encountered in their professions, but also providing them that next level,” Garwood said.

The organizers of the workshop hope to make a discussion like this an annual event.