Tuesday, February 26, 2013

March is National Social Work Month

March is National Social Work Month. First commissioned by President Reagan, The National Association of Social Workers and its members spend this month celebrating the accomplishments of social workers and the services they provide to vulnerable populations (Chase’s Calendar of Events 2013). If you know a social worker or counselor, take an extra moment to thank them for their work and talents. In hospice, social workers and bereavement counselors make up our counseling team and are an important part of the hospice journey. Our hospice program would not be complete without their contribution to those we serve. They provide support to patients and families experiencing illness, stress, grief, and much more.
Hospice of Southern Illinois’ counseling team is committed to the whole family. We not only provide physical, emotional, and spiritual support for the patient, but for the family as well. Our counseling team is experts in dealing with topics people experience during their end-of-life journey and can provide support over the phone or face-to-face based on the needs and wants of patients and families. They have received special training to help Veterans at the end-of-life, because Veterans have different counseling needs because of the unique life experiences they encountered. This training is through the We Honor Veterans partnership with the VA and NHPCO. Further, we provide support to the family up to 13 months after a loved one has passed on an as needed basis, complimented by a Journey’s Newsletter, a grief support newsletter sent out once a month to families who may not need that face-to-face contact but find comfort in reading stories and tips for coping shared by others. These are all free services that can be utilized by Hospice of Southern Illinois’ patients and families, in addition to individuals and their loved ones who have not been in our hospice program through a counseling service known as the community bereavement program.  
The hospice journey for each person is unique just like their life experiences, which is why end-of-life emotional and spiritual needs vary based on the needs and wants of patients and families. The peace of mind patients and families can be reassured of is that no matter how much or how little support you need, a member of our counseling team is on-call 24/7 to answer questions and provide support to a terminally ill individual and their family during this delicate time in a person’s life. If you would like to review an educational booklet, feel free to download them; click here. 
Help us share, educate, and reach out by subscribing to our blog and suggesting it to friends who will spread our message: Hospice of Southern Illinois is here to teach you what hospice is, what we are about, and what we can do for you and your loved ones. No one has to go through the dying process alone. Hospice of Southern Illinois can help.

Live well, laugh often, and love much,
Christine Juehne
Hospice of Southern Illinois
Community Education

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