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Actively Moving Forward: College Students Helping Each Other, Helping Themselves by Fran Solomon

Actively Moving Forward: College Students Helping Each Other, Helping Themselves by Fran Solomon

Empowered Through Grief!

Until now, HealGrief has been an online social support network for people who are grieving, bereaved or for those just wanting to support them. With an average of 2 people dying every second, potentially we serve the millions of those left behind.

I use the words “until now” because we recently acquired a program called AMF, short for Actively Moving Forward. This program connects and empowers grieving college students to support one another and participate in community service in memory of their loved one.  By doing so, they raise awareness about the needs of grieving young adults.  This program is currently, “ActivelyMovingForward” on over 50 campuses, coast-to-coast, nationwide.

College students are particularly vulnerable when stricken with grief. Chances are, most students have never experienced the death of a loved one. Now, they are away from home or leaving home, often for the first time and are away from their usual support systems. Their peers don’t understand grief and therefore, these students don’t receive the empathy or support they need. With many college campuses having limited grief support resources available, these students are at high risk to a host of issues; a feeling of isolation; an inability to focus; a lack of energy; and depression.

Our AMFer’s, as our students are affectionately called, are brought together because of this “thing called grief.” Together, united in grief, they bring a voice to a neglected group, themselves.

Some of the chapters go beyond supporting one another. Penn State’s, Actively Moving Forward chapter worked with administration to craft bereavement policies after they recognized that the lack of clear communication, on these policies, was an issue that needed to be resolved.

AMFer’s have learned that grief is not something “to get over” nor do they need to “forget” their loved one. Rather, they’ve learned that their journey with grief can lead to a healthy grief recovery. They have learned to embrace the memories of their loved one they hold so deeply within their heart and mind, as they “Actively Move Forward” through life.

We can never cure death, but together, we can “Actively Move Forward” with our grief!

 


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