Grief support and memorials
You are not alone
Each of us grieves in our own way. We hope that the information and support offered here will help you through your difficult time. Support on campus includes student grief dinners, counselling, academic advising, support groups, spiritual care, counselling and memorial creation.
Some supports are just for students, while others are open to students, staff and faculty.
Grief support for students
You may find you need an academic deferral to help you through your time of grieving. Undergraduate students should contact their registrar's office by email and inform them of the situation. Students may also wish to notify their professors or TAs. Graduate students should contact their professors and their department graduate coordinator.
Grief Support Sharing Circle
Everyone grieves in their own unique way.
When someone you love dies, you may feel angry, isolated, sad, guilty and lonely.
The Grief Support Sharing Circle is an informal mutual support group for students who have experienced a death, as well as students experiencing anticipatory grief.
Dates: Sep 25, Oct 23, Nov 20, Jan 22, Feb 26, Mar 19
Time: 5:10 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Location: Faculty of Social Work, 246 Bloor Street West (Bedford/Bloor), Room 418
Light refreshments provided.
Facilitators: Laurie Coleman MSW RSW, Health & Wellness & Jeanette Unger M.T.S, Marco Mascarin PhD RP, Multi-Faith Centre
If you are experiencing emotional or psychological difficulties, support is available through U of T’s Health & Wellness counselling services. You can get help with clarifying issues, understanding and managing your emotions, relationships and responses, and support in dealing with challenges effectively.
The Campus Chaplains Association (CCA) is a multi-faith organization whose chaplains help make connections between an intellectual understanding of spirituality and living the reality of faith. Chaplains can offer spiritual care in times of grief and perform rites of passage including funerals and memorials.
Memorial service creation
Read our document on best practices for creating a Memorial Service (attached).
Online memorial creation
The Multi-Faith Centre offers a place where memorials can be created for current U of T students, staff, or faculty that have passed away, similar to a guest book at a funeral (please see below).
Community bereavement resources and groups
Bereaved Families of Toronto
- Bereaved Families of Ontario-Toronto is a volunteer based bereavement support organization that provides programs and services based on a mutual support model to individuals, families, groups and communities throughout the city of Toronto. This program is free of charge.
Survivor Support Program
- Through the Toronto Distress Centre, the Survivor Support Program provides support for adults who have lost someone due to suicide or other forms of violent death. This program is free of charge.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network
- PAIL Network is a registered Canadian charity committed to making a positive difference to those affected by pregnancy and infant loss. This program is free of charge.
- Wellspring is a network of community-based cancer support centres. It offers a specialized bereavement program and some individual support services for those who have lost a loved on to cancer. This program is free of charge.
Counselling (for faculty and staff only)
The Employee and Family Assistance Program is a confidential information, counselling and referral service. The service is provided by Family Services Employee Assistance Programs and their staff of experienced psychologists and social workers. All services provided through this program are paid for by U of T. Immediate access to professional counsellors is available by phone at 1-800-668-9920. If face-to-face counselling is needed, an appointment will be scheduled. You can also arrange for telephone or web-based counselling.