Community Fund for Wellesley COVID-19 Relief FundHRS is proud to offer these Community Support Forums made possible by a grant from the Community Fund for Wellesley COVID-19 Relief Fund. More Community Support Forums are on the way, please check the website again soon for updated information.

Parenting In A Pandemic: 6-week Zoom Group for Parents of Children in Grades K-5

Facilitated by Marla Rosenbloom, LICSW and Donna Cvitkovich, PsyD

Parenting young children during the elementary years brings both joy and challenges at the best of times. An unprecedented pandemic like COVID-19 only exacerbates the challenges of parenting, adding increased stressors and uncertainties to parents’ lives. Join a small, intimate group of parents in supporting one another and building community during this time. The group is facilitated by a licensed psychologist and a clinical social worker. We will explore a range of topics including practices around building structure and routine, self-care, and managing anxiety. A particular focus will be given to developing skills for mindfulness and adaptive thinking patterns. Together we will partner in helping our children and families thrive.


Parenting High School Juniors and Seniors: 4-week Zoom Group for Parents

Facilitated by Steve Rose, Ph.D. and Carly Inkpen, LICSW

COVID-19 is creating new parenting challenges. It can be hard to know how to best support your teens as their school, college, and social plans are disrupted in unprecedented ways. Families are grieving the loss of important milestones and rites of passage. Children may be withdrawn, angry, anxious, frustrated, or difficult to connect with. Your teen may feel that their emerging sense of independence is being taken away. The uncertainty of the situation makes it especially difficult to make big decisions about the future. This Community Support Forum offers the opportunity for parents to discuss these issues, share ideas, and support one another. You can drop in for one meeting or attend all four – whatever works for you. This support group is primarily aimed at parents of high school juniors and seniors who are experiencing disruptions in their graduation and college plans. However, if your child is slightly older or younger and you’re interested in this group, feel free to email us and we can discuss whether the group could be a good fit for you.

Parenting Early High School Students: A 4-week Zoom Group for Parents

Facilitated by Allison Ertl, Psy.D. and Emily Lodish, Psy.D.

Parenting during a pandemic creates challenges for families with children of all ages. In particular, families with a teenager in late middle school and early high school face unique circumstances as students adjust and transition to the high school environment during an unprecedented time of uncertainty. These demands can be exacerbated in a learning environment that is currently online and may or may not continue to be in the future. This Community Support Forum offers the opportunity to discuss these issues, share ideas, support one another, and learn ways to foster resilience among teens. This group is primarily focused on the needs of parents of rising high school 9th and 10th graders. Parents are welcome to drop in for one meeting or attend as many as desired.

Grandparenting From Afar During COVID-19: 8-week Zoom Group for Grandparents

Facilitated by Linda Galper, LICSW

Please contact Linda Galper at lgalperathrshelps [dot] org for more information.

Grandparents across the country are currently “grounded” from seeing their grandchildren who may be so near yet so far. However, being apart does not mean staying unconnected as grandparents and grandchildren turn to technology and other means to keep their relationship strong. Staying connected with their grandchildren allows grandparents to maintain their ties and lessen feelings of isolation. Grandparents can also help their own children who may be working from home and trying to cope with homeschooling and increased childcare demands. This HRS Community Support Forum offers the opportunity for grandparents to share ideas and support one another. We will explore together a range of topics and strategies, including: reading stories on FaceTime or zoom; helping with homework assignments; share cooking class; play interactive games; tell jokes; create “cousins time”; have a talent night; or share movie night. 

Graduating High School Seniors: A 4-Week Zoom Group

Facilitated by Angela Jones, Psy.D. and Shannon Mackey, LICSW

We are living in challenging times that affect the experiences of graduating high school students in so many ways. Many have seen their college plans become uncertain. Join us to talk about these experiences with peers facing the same decisions, hopes, and fears. Potential topics include: ambiguity about colleges opening in the fall; parents’ fears about in-person classes; your own worries or wishes; and potential losses to come as well as other experiences of the pandemic, positive and negative. This group will be formed in advance without drop-ins and will meet four times. Please join us!

Coping with the Loss of a Loved One During the Pandemic: An 8-week Zoom Group for Adults Experiencing COVID-19 Related Loss

Facilitated by Julia Moskowitz, Psy.D .and James Kuper, Psy.D.

The loss of a loved one can bring about life’s most profound experiences of suffering. Now, coping with these very personal tragedies has been further complicated by the changing social dynamics brought about by COVID-19. The isolation, disrupted rituals of mourning, and the existential ambiguity of the moment have upended the way we experience and cope with loss. This Community Support Forum offers an opportunity to join others who are similarly trying to navigate the challenges of this period. We will aim to address a range of topics, including: strategies for identifying and seeking support you need; coping with overwhelming emotions; coping with the ways in which grief is shaping your world; creating new rituals to help you say goodbye and mark the passing of time since your loss; coping with the ways in which aspects of your grief may need to be postponed; mourning the lost opportunity to have been present at a loved one’s death.

Surviving COVID-19: A Forum for Recovering Patients

Facilitated by Joyce Saret, LICSW. and Mark Kline, Psy.D.

Coping with a new and unpredictable illness creates stress and anxiety. COVID-19 also requires self-isolation, which means less personal contact with loved ones and your support network, which can truly complicate recovery. This Forum will provide a safe and private atmosphere to meet (via Zoom) with other recovering patients and share experiences and coping techniques. Some issues that we will address include: tips for dealing with feelings as you emerge from quarantine; impact of your illness on your family and friends; challenges in relationships with your caregivers; concerns about the course of COVID; residual health anxiety; and challenges of self-care while meeting work and family needs.

Caring for Loved Ones with COVID-19: 4-Session Zoom Group for Caregivers

Facilitated by Kiley Gottschalk, Psy.D. and Tracey Hurd, Ph.D.

Caring for a loved one with COVID-19 or with COVID-19 related challenges (i.e. quarantining, special health safety needs, etc.) is uniquely challenging. This forum will provide a space to talk openly about the often-conflicting emotions (including love, anger, despair, joy, and others) that arise when providing this care. The group welcomes people actively caring for others, as well as those with past experience. Family caregivers often provide treatments, monitor symptoms, work to prevent disease spreading, and act as gatekeepers about practices of isolating and quarantining. Many feel ill-equipped to offer this care, despite the need to do so. Concern about our own possibility of infection, uncertainty about recovery of the COVID-19-involved family member, complex feelings of stigma, and mental and physical exhaustion can be overwhelming. Many caregivers suffer from burn-out or “compassion fatigue.” This forum will provide compassionate facilitated discussion with an emphasis on increasing caregiver support and self-care. Participants will be encouraged to share their stories.

Support Group for Older Adults

Facilitated by Allan Wyatt, Psy.D.

In these times of social distancing people are seeking ways to connect with each other.  This Community Forum aims to support senior citizens who might wish to talk together.  These will be open discussion groups of eight to ten people, taking up, for instance, what people are experiencing in these unusual times, how they are coping, and what their concerns are moving forward.  The meetings will be accessible through either internet video or phone call-in.