We were with our good friends when they had the most horrible appointment a parent could have — to go to the Coroner’s office and identify their son who had been killed in a tragic accident. Your counselor’s gentleness in dealing with them made the situation bearable. Hopefully, not very many people will ever experience this kind of tragedy, but the fact that you are there and are comforting people where and when they need it is most gratifying.”
— INDIVIDUAL MET AT THE OCME
On November 1, 1999, Wendt Center for Loss and Healing expanded into truly uncharted territory, with the implementation of the RECOVER Program.
Homicides, suicides, accidents, deaths by suspicious causes, child deaths, and sudden deaths from natural causes are all traumatic and senseless losses for surviving family and friends. Because of the nature of these deaths, most surviving families must come into contact with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) to identify the deceased, to claim remains or to assist with an investigation. Through RECOVER, these survivors in the District of Columbia receive affordable, accessible and appropriate bereavement support services.
RECOVER is a collaborative program with the OCME that places experienced, professional grief counselors on-site to guide individuals and families through the process of identification and the accompanying grief. RECOVER’S crisis grief counseling services are supplemented by the informational materials we provide families as well as referrals for community services. RECOVER ensures access to services at the front-line, and hopes to assist children and families to develop their own emotional resources necessary to survive trauma and crisis.
A unique approach to service and prevention, RECOVER endeavors to intervene in the cycle of violence by empowering grieving children and their families to cope with their anger and grief following a sudden or traumatic loss. RECOVER services are accessible by every family that enters the DC OCME free-of-charge. Families receive on-going follow-up support and information for up to a year if needed. Continued grief counseling support is available at our office locations.
RECOVER provides on-site crisis grief counseling support to over 2,500 individuals a year.
For more information contact Stephanie Handel, RECOVER Program Coordinator, at (202) 204-5008 or email firstname.lastname@example.org