Hospital opens 'Center for Good Grief'

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A Region 8 hospital celebrates new ground with the community they serve as the NEA Baptist Center for Good Grief is officially open.

A tour of the facility and ribbon cutting ceremony took place on Tuesday.

Director of the NEA Baptist Center for Good Grief, Mandy Young, said this venture started long ago.

"The Center for Good Grief is based out of the Collierville campus," Young said. "That's where it started and it started with a kids camp. It has grown into a comprehensive grief counseling center and we will serve anyone from the age of 4 to 104. Any sort of death related grief experience they have had are the ones we will tailor our service to."

The CEO of NEA Baptist Healthcare, Brad Parsons, said it was a need they wanted to provide for anyone suffering.

"It's a free service," Parsons said. "For anyone that's suffering from grief. From the loss of a loved one. And you don't need to be a patient of NEA Baptist. This is for any patients across our region. Anyone suffering from grief or the effects of grief. We're really happy to bring this to our community."

"For our community," Young said. "We've had a lot of loss in regards of still born, early child infant stages, miscarriages and lots of losses for children. And so, our Share Hope program has catered to the needs of those infant losses, but the counseling piece has not been there yet."

It was for that reason Young said NEA physicians stepped up.

"I was approached over a year ago about this program," Young said. "I've always had a passion for helping those in their hardest and most difficult times and being really in tune with their crisis and being there to cater to them in their time of need. When our physicians pitched this to us as an idea to bring this service here, I was really excited. Now, we're here and we're getting opened. Our phones are open and we're accepting calls. We already have clients scheduled to be seen."

Parsons said this project has fallen into place from the very beginning.

"This is a project," Parsons said. "Really the pieces have just fallen into place. As you can see from all the people here today, we're really celebrating with our community for a service that's really needed. We think this service will grow. We think there are lots of unmet needs this will fulfill. So, we're excited to see what the future will hold for this service."

Young said they will be individualizing their counseling sessions according to the individual or groups they're working to help.

"We will do individualized counseling sessions," Young said. "We'll do sessions for individuals, families, we'll have support groups. And then, we'll host seminars throughout the year."

Parsons said he and everyone involved with this venture are proud to make it a reality.

"Grief is really an unmet need in the healthcare space," Parsons said. "And we're excited to be able to work through NEA Baptist Charitable Foundation and Baptist Memorial Healthcare to bring this to our community."

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