Thank you for your interest in the Internet Resource Guide. My name is Dr. Camille Wortman, and I am a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Stony Brook University in New York. My expertise is in bereavement, with an emphasis on how people are affected by the sudden, traumatic death of a loved one.
The nation is now facing an unprecedented level of loss as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This grief is coupled with many other powerful emotions – including feelings of guilt, anger, and sadness. In addition, Americans have had to contend with difficulties brought about by the pandemic, such as disruptions in their daily lives and insecurity about work, housing, and food. For many, the stress has been pervasive and unrelenting, and our nation is experiencing crippling rates of anxiety and depression. Demand for mental health services has increased markedly, placing an even greater strain on a mental health system that was already stretched to its limits. This has resulted in limited access to professional help, especially for those hit the hardest by the pandemic.
My team and I felt a strong call of action in response to the overwhelming mental health crisis we saw unfolding before us. We began to explore online resources that could help bereaved people manage their painful emotions, build resilience, and improve their mental health and well-being. We searched for information that would facilitate self-compassion and self-care. We also looked for personal stories of grief so that bereaved individuals would recognize that they are not alone. Our overall goal was to provide resources to empower those who are grieving. We selected the best of these resources and combined them into a comprehensive guide.
We were heartened by the rich array of helpful resources that we discovered. Some sites provide information to assist people in processing their grief; for example, how to deal with feelings of anger or guilt. There are websites that address more specific issues, such as how to help children mourn the death of a grandparent. Other sites focus on the practical aspects of loss, such as how to cancel your loved one’s social media accounts. There is also material on how to help and comfort the bereaved, including the best and worst things to say to them. These resources are offered in a variety of formats including articles, blog posts, podcasts, support groups, videos, and webinars.
We hope that this Guide will be useful to those who are navigating the bereavement process at this time. Please help us by sharing it with others who might benefit from it. Our goal is to make the Guide available to those in a variety of settings, including mental health practitioners, physicians and nurses, funeral directors, first responders, faith communities, and community agencies.
We believe that this Guide will inspire and encourage others who are grieving. If you have such a story that you are willing to share, we welcome you to send it to us. In addition, please feel free to contact me if you have recommendations regarding new additions to the Guide as well as suggestions for how it may be improved. I may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note that I am not able to respond to individual requests for support.