Grief Response Program
The Grief Response Program (the GRP) is a program newly governed by San Francisco Suicide Prevention (SFSP). The Program offers on-scene practical and emotional support to survivors impacted by suicides, fatal accidents, unexpected natural deaths, and other unforeseen tragedies by trained volunteers (the Grief Response Team). Assistance is provided at the time of the incident, as well as short-term follow-up care by phone, when requested, following a tragedy.
Such support can often help survivors, especially those without significant emotional connections in the Bay Area, feel grounded, access resources, and reduce their susceptibility to short-term mental health and substance abuse problems while they begin the journey of healing. The Grief Response Team is activated through the San Francisco Fire Department, and in agreement with the San Francisco Police Department, the San Francisco Coroners’ Office, and the San Francisco Medical Examiners.
The Grief Response Team complies with all applicable laws and City of San Francisco’s policies and procedures, including the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).
Hours of Activation
The Grief Response Team responds to calls from 8:00AM to 8:00PM. Volunteer shifts are six to twelve hours and consist of three team members per shift; one dispatcher and two responders.
Volunteer Commitment to the Program
All accepted candidates must commit to a minimum of 24 hours of on-call availability per month in either 6 or 12 hour blocks and attend regular monthly one hour continuing education sessions for at least 18 months to begin immediately following Academy completion.
If you’re interested in becoming a Grief Response Team volunteer, or would like additional information on this program, please visit our volunteer page or contact Meghan Freebeck at Meghanf@sfsuicide.org.
Funding for the Grief Response Program is entirely provided by private donations. If you are interested in donating to the Program directly, please use this link, or contact Meghan Freebeck at firstname.lastname@example.org.