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Considerations for Online Support Groups

The current public health crisis around COVID-19 has prompted the temporary transition to online delivery for many supports and services, including support groups for bereavement. Perhaps more than ever, it is important for people impacted by suicide loss to be able to connect with others. While adjusting to an online support group format can create some discomfort for both the facilitator and attendees at first, adequate preparation can help set the stage for a successful transition.

To support facilitators in the transition to online meetings, CASP is providing key considerations about group process and technology for facilitators.

This information is intended to highlight considerations that may be new to facilitators operating in the virtual format so that facilitators can ensure safeguards are in place in light of some of the potential challenges. Additionally, this information can be used by facilitators to help participants prepare for the virtual group format. For example, it may be helpful to draw from this document to create resources to support participants in engaging with the virtual format for the group.

We encourage you to use what you find helpful, though certainly not all of the information will be relevant or necessary for your group.

Please note, that this list of considerations is not exhaustive, and there may be additional considerations specific to your unique context beyond those included in this document.

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