The following grief counseling and support groups are available in our region. These organizations offer help to people who have experienced loss through death. Your funeral director can offer additional information at your request.
Bereavement Support Groups in Des MoinesBelow we have provided a number of local area support groups that you may want to consider after the loss of a loved one. All of the groups welcome new members and encourage you to be as active as you want to be.
At the time of a loss and immediately after, friends and family provide a great source of comfort. But as the days pass, most of us find that the support and friendship of kindred souls who have suffered the same kind of loss is both helpful and healing.
BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT GROUPS FOR : Please Choose:Loss of ChildLoss by SuicideLoss of SpouseGrieving ChildrenLoss in GeneralSupportCounseling
Iles Funeral Homes and Amanda the Panda have partnered together to support children and families when someone they love has died. This support is provided through services which include: Weekend camps tailored to college students, children ages 6 – 17, and adults as well as support groups, Fun Days, and Holiday Support activities and programs. Amanda the Panda provides these services free of charge to our families. Amanda the Panda’s mission is to restore grieving children and families back into the mainstream of their lives through innovative services that provide hope and healing. For additional information call 1-877-533-4847 or visit www.amandathepanda.org
Compassionate Friends Self-help organization for bereaved families after the death of a child. Meets the first Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. at Hamilton's on Westown Parkway, Children's Butterfly Garden Reception Room, 3601 Westown Parkway, West Des Moines. Contact from other parents who have also had a child die, provides the opportunity to talk to someone who has "been there." Lending library and newsletter available. Sibling and grandparent support also.
Co-Chapter Leader: Cathy Peterson firstname.lastname@example.org 515-993-4574Co-Chapter Leader: Mary Jane Nemetz 515-238-1198Accidental Death: Donnafred Hinman 515-226-2141SIDA Death: Karen Wiederholt 515-274-3584Suicide: Paul & JoyceScranton 515-965-2467
Iowa SIDS Foundation
The Iowa SIDS Foundation is a statewide non-profit health organization dedicated to providing emotional support to SIDS and SUID families, educating professionals and the general public about SIDS and funding medical research into the causes of SIDS.
406 SW School Street, Ste. 205Ankeny, Iowa 50023E-mail: email@example.comContact: Patty Keeley firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-480-4741
Mommies With Hope
A biblically based support group for moms who have experienced the loss of a child (pregnancy, infant, or child loss). Moms are encouraged by connecting with and comforting one another through monthly "Hope" meetings and occasional social outings. Whether your loss is recent or abiding, all stages of grief are welcome.
www.mommieswithhope.comE-mail: email@example.comContact: Teske Drake 319-404-0272
Loss of a Child for Parent Caregivers with UnityPoint
Third Thursday of the month
Iowa Methodist Medical Center
Kelly Dining Room – Level B
Anne Alesch, MDiv
Heidi Larson, MA
Survivors of Suicide Loss Support Group
Meets continuouly on third Tuesday of the month, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. No Charge. This support group is open to any adults who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center8553 Urbandale AvenueUrbandale, Iowa 50322Contact: Andrea Severson or Diane McClanahan 515-274-4006
Coping After A Suicide Support Group - by Polk County Crisis and Advcacy Services
Offers a safe, confidential support group open to anyone (older teens and adults) surviving the loss of a loved one through suicide. Meets the second Thursday of each month from 6-7:30 p.m. as well as the last Saturday of each month from 9-10:30 a.m. No charge.
Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services2309 EuclidDes Moines, Iowa 50310Contact: Kate Gilmore 515-286-2029
AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention has many resources for survivors; go to their website and search by zip code.
Homicide Survivors Support Group - by Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services
For family and friends who have lost a loved one as the result of homicide. Meets the third Tuesday of each month at our office from 6-7:30 p.m. No charge.
Polk County Crisis and Advocacy Services2309 EuclidDes Moines, Iowa 50310Contact: Sara McMillan 515-286-2026
Y.E.W.S. - Young Energetic Widowed Singles, Inc.
Started in 1984, the YEWS group is a social support group for adults who have experienced the death of their spouse. The regular monthly dinner is held on the 2nd and 4th Thursday night of each month. The group dines out in a local restaurant with social conversation and dinner at 6 p.m. There is no meeting, just conversation, laughter and fun.
Contacts: Virginia Powers 515-255-1950Volney Smith 515-987-3388
Grieving the Loss of a Spouse/Partner with UnityPoint
Women’s Group Discussion
First Monday of the month
Iowa Lutheran Hospital
Conference Room 1 – Main Level
Men’s Group Discussion
Bierring Dining Room – Level B
Social Coed Luncheon
Third Monday of the month
Cafeteria – Level B
Anne Alesch, MDiv
AMANDA THE PANDA SUPPORT GROUPS
Children (ages 6-17) grieving the death of a loved one meet in separate groups with two facilitators per group for 8 weeks on Monday evenings in the fall, winter and spring. Starting at 6:00 p.m. a meal is served and groups conclude at 7:30 p.m. No Charge.
www.amandathepanda.org1000 73rd St., Suite 12Windsor Heights, Iowa 50324Contact: Charlene Kiesling 1-877-533-4847
CAMP AMANDA - for grieving children, teens and adults
This weekend grief camp is held in April and September for grieving children (6 years and older), teens and adults. Camp dates and application forms are posted on the website. No charge.
Contact: Charlene Kiesling 1-877-533-4847
DADDY'S LITTLE ANGELS - ages 12 and under
A support group started in 2006 for children ages 12 and under, whose dads have died. There are monthly activities planned, either a meeting, a social or an outing.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.orgContact: Jana Nichols 515-962-0614
STEPPING STONES - ages 3-5 and 6-10
A six week program designed to encourage children, who have experienced the loss of a loved one, to share their experiences, identify and understand their feelings, clarify misunderstandings about death and dying and strengthen their faith in Jesus. Meets in conjunction with GriefShare.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church8301 Aurora Ave., Urbandale, Iowa 50322www.gloriadeionline.comContact: Pastor Tim Phillips 515-276-1700
GRIEF RELIEF - by Hospice of Central Iowa
Grief Relief is a three hour event, twice a year; open to grades 7-12. This session is about handling the grief that comes after someone dies. Free of Charge. Call for location and registration.
www.hospicesofcentraliowa.orgContact: Bereavement Counselors 515-274-3400
TEENS TOGETHER GRIEF SUPPORT - by Gloria Dei Lutheran Church
An interactive discussion-based curriculum which helps teens who have lost a loved one go through the grief process with others who are experiencing the same emotional situations. Activities take place at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church.
Contact: Pastor Tim Phillipstphillips@gloriadeionline.com
TOGTOG "Touching Our Grief" is ongoing grief support sessions for adults surviving the death of someone loved. Support group available in West Des Moines. No charge. Call for dates, times and locations of groups outside of West Des Moines.
2910 Westown Parkway, Suite 200West Des Moines, Iowa 50266www.hospiceofcentraliowa.orgContact: Bereavement Counselors 515-333-5810
SEASONS OF GRIEF - byUnityPoint Hospice
Grief support group for adults over age 18. Group meets the first Monday of every month. Group is offered at Iowa Lutheran Hospital from 10:00 a.m. to noon. No charge.
Contact: Ann Alesch 515-557-3169
"Supper Gathering"- Adults who are grieving the death of a loved one gather at a designated restaurant at 6:30 p.m. on the third Monday of alternating months. Supper is "Dutch Treat" ordered from the menu. Pre-registration is required. Supper Gathering provides socializing opportunity for people interested in Seasons of Grief (See above).
MERCY HOSPICE BEREAVEMENT SERVICES
"Soup Tuesday" - an opportunity to share a simple meal with others who have experienced the death of a loved one. Held the first Tuesday of every month, 5:30-7:00 p.m. at Mercy Hospice-Johnston, 5820 Winwood Dr., Johnston, Iowa 50131
"Comfort and Coffee" - a monthly drop-in grief support group. Meets the first Friday of each month, 10 a.m., Mercy Hospice-Johnston, 5820 Winwood Dr., Johnston, Iowa 50131
"The Men's Group" - a non-denominational social group for men of all ages who have experienced the loss of a loved one: spouse, parent, child, friend. Times and dates vary.
"Pathways through Grief" - a multi-session grief education program offered several times throughout the year. Classes limited to 12.
"Managing Grief During the Holidays" - offers positive, creative suggestions for living through the holidays while experiencing the loss of a family member. Typically offered in early November.
For more information, or to make reservations for any of the programs listed, please send an e-mail to email@example.com or Contact: Mary Kay Casey 515-643-6147
Knitted Together: Crafting Through Grief with UnityPoint
Fourth Friday of the month
Clive Public Library
Grieving the Loss of a Parent with UnityPoint
First Tuesday of the month
Dinner at a designated restaurant
Adults grieving the death of a loved one meet with two facilitators per group for 8 weeks on Monday evenings in the fall, winter and spring. A meal is served at 6:00 p.m. and groups conclude at 7:30 p.m. There is no charge. (Groups are available for children and teens 6-17 at the same time.)
1000 73rd St., Suite 12Windsor Heights, Iowa 50324Contact: Charlene "Charlie" Kiesling1-877-533-4847
CATHOLIC CHARITIES OF THE DIOCESE OF DES MOINES
Services provided to families, couples, and individuals struggling with a variety of issues including grief, loss, sexual abuse, and family conflict.
601 Grand Ave.Des Moines, Iowa 50309Information: 515-237-5045
CHILDREN AND FAMILIES OF IOWA
Strengthening Families and Restoring Futures. Licensed clinicians that are caring and compassionate to assist families in healing through grief and loss and other life situations/events. A non-profit organization that provides counseling on a sliding scale or ability to pay basis for children, adolescents, adults, couples and families. Evening hours available.
1111 University Ave.Des Moines, IowaContact: 515-288-1981
DES MOINES PASTORAL COUNSELING CENTER
Counseling that provides understanding, hope and healing in a variety of areas including: grief and loss, anxiety, depression, stress, self-esteem, relationship problems, parent-child issues, and spiritual matters. Compassionate counselors take a mind, body and spirit approach to helping individual adults, couples and families to live more fully. Innovative services for counseling children and adolescents. An independent non-profit organization providing counseling through insurance and/or on a sliding scale or ability-to-pay basis. Office hours 8-6 Monday-Friday, evening hours available.
www.dmpcc.org2929 Westown Parkway, Suite 110West Des Moines, Iowa 50265Information: 515-274-4006
WESLEYLIFE GRIEF SUPPORT
"Growing in Grief"3rd Monday of each month, 7-9 p.m.5508 NW 88th StreetJohnston, Iowa 50131
Meets simultaneouslyFor more information please call Char at 515-271-6765
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