A new program under the umbrella of the local DeFeet Suicide Prevention organization is offering a bimonthly well-being discussion addressing healing from grief.
The mission of DeFeet.org “is dedicated to educating Pettis County about mental health and suicide prevention by providing training, speakers and support groups; and advocate for treatment by providing financial aid and materials to destigmatize mental health issues.”
Katie Kirby, who organizes the DeFeet Well-Being Discussion group along with Daniel Whittaker, said the meetings have branched out to address healing. Kirby is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She works as a therapist for Child Safe of Central Missouri Inc. and owns Katie G Counseling LLC.
“(The group) is meant for general healing,” Kirby noted. “The DeFeet organization is about suicide prevention, and we wanted to take away the intimidation of a suicide bereavement group.”
She added the group addresses the steps one can take to help themselves “through tough times” and struggles. The group also offers ideas for coping skills.
“How do you let go of things,” she noted. “How can you let go of it for five minutes instead of holding on to it all day long. And that can be focused on anyone who has experienced grief.”
The group provides discussions for all types of loss, such as death, the loss of a relationship or a job.
“It’s to help with transitioning (and) adjustments in life,” Kirby said. “And welcoming in the new and just allowing yourself to stop for a second and let go of all the negative that you are holding on to.”
The discussion group helps participants learn to “embrace” positive thoughts and relaxation.
“We have been more structured with our groups,” she explained. “We plan an activity, we plan a discussion topic and (we) come up with different questions to ask around that discussion.”
She added the activity is incorporated around the topic to help illustrate the concepts they are presenting and addressing.
At present, all DeFeet Well-Being meetings are virtual. Kirby said those interested in attending may go to the FeFeet.org Facebook page and click on events to connect to the Zoom meeting. The next DeFeet Well-Being (virtual) Discussion is at 6 p.m. Monday.
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