Hospice of Santa Barbara Introduces Coping with COVID-19 Information Series for the Community

Topics by Community Education Team Range from Speaking to your Kids about the Virus to How to Support Senior Loved Ones Who May be Isolated and Grieving in the time of COVID-19 

In response to the growing need for emotional and practical support related to COVID-19 in the Greater Santa Barbara area, Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) now offers a comprehensive resource page called “Coping With COVID-19.”

Coping with COVID-19 includes videos and articles by HSB’s Community Education staff of dedicated experts, therapists and clergy. Topics include relevant issues we are all facing during the global pandemic. You can find information on grieving the loss of normalcy, managing panic and anxiety, cultivating resilience and compassion, ways for seniors to cope with isolation, help for teens navigating the loss of their school routine while maintaining social relationships, ideas for parents to allay their child’s worry or fear of death, ways to manage grief and memorialize a loved one at home, and more.

 “Our professional staff have a wealth of experience and insights that relate specifically to what we are all going through now,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara. “We are all struggling through this very uncertain time and these informative and thoughtful articles and videos can provide guidance and comfort as we go through this.”

The Coping with COVID-19 Series is comprised of original content and there will be regular information updates every week including new articles and videos so please check back on the resource page to learn more. http://www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org/covid19-resource-page

Articles and videos from HSB’s Community Education team include helpful information from experienced professionals. Read about their contributors below:

Suzanne Retzinger, Ph.D., LMFT; Counselor and Education Specialist

Suzanne has published a 5-part series on End-Of-Life in “Therapy News”, have developed and taught courses with the Osher Institute at UCSB, Antioch University (Being with Grief), and SBCC extension programs “Awakening Kindness”, as well as the Psychology Conference “Courageous Conversations” about being with end of life issues.

Jeanne M. West, RN, MHA is Community Engagement Manager

She has held a variety of Administrative positions in Senior Care settings in Santa Barbara over the past 38 years.  Prior to her position with HSB, Jeanne was Enrollment Coordinator for DASH (Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home).  She is an Instructor with SBCC Adult Education, teaches classes on Advance Health Care Directives and is an active member of the Annual Senior Expo Planning Committee and the Santa Barbara County Elder Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council.

Michael Cruse, LCSW, Bereavement Services Manager

Michael oversees all clinicians and programs related to bereavement counseling for adults and children and has been a leading force in HSB’s expansion of services in local secondary schools and through community partnerships. He has nearly 40 years of experience in the Santa Barbara community as a medical social worker, psychotherapist, and clinical supervisor. He has been licensed with the California Board of Behavioral Sciences as a clinical social worker since 1986 and is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.

Adriana Marroquin, Community Initiatives Manager

Adriana oversees our collaboration with Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinics and our Compassionate Care of Carpinteria initiative and cultivates new partnerships. Prior to coming to HSB in 2018, she worked at Easy Lift Transportation for six years as the intake and marketing coordinator, and before that at Isla Vista Youth Projects as the THRIVE program coordinator. She holds a B.A in global and religious studies and an M.A. in business administration.

Kristen Rohm, MDiv, Spiritual Care Counselor

Kristen is an ordained Unitarian Universalist Minister, and provides spiritual support to those who are at the end of life or who have a life-threatening illness. She offers this type of support to family members and caregivers of patients, as well as to Hospice of Santa Barbara volunteers and staff. She holds a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago and a B.A. in psychology from DePauw University in Indiana, and is a trained Spiritual Director from Shalem Institute in Washington, DC.

Lee Weiser, PhD, Bereavement Counselor

Before coming to Hospice of Santa Barbara in early 2019, Lee had been a counselor at Laguna Blanca School, Family Service Agency, New Beginnings Counseling Center, Vista Del Mar Hospital, and Santa Barbara County Mental Health Children and Adolescents Department. She also has been an instructor at UCSB, Antioch University Santa Barbara, and Pacifica Graduate Institute. Lee is a certified Gestalt therapist for children and adolescents, and had a private counseling practice before coming to HSB. She was drawn to HSB because of our positive reputation in our community.

Hospice of Santa Barbara

Hospice of Santa Barbara provides professional counseling, support groups, and patient care services free of charge to individuals and families who are grieving the death of a loved one or experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness.  Hospice of Santa Barbara also provides counseling in our offices and on fifteen local junior and high school campuses to children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one. For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call (805) 563-8820 or visit www.hospiceofsantabarbara.org.

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