Help define the future of grief support in Canada

Results released for CGA National Survey on Grief

The Canadian Grief Alliance (CGA), has released the findings of its landmark public survey on grief. With nearly 4,000 respondents, the survey is the largest ever on grief in Canada and will inform a National Action Plan for Grief which the CGA will present to the federal government in 2025.

Key findings include:

  • 53% of respondents said their grief went largely unrecognized by others 
  • 50% of respondents felt inadequately supported in their grief
  • 83% of respondents identified being asked about their loss as being helpful
  • 54% of respondents wanted more access to one-on-one grief counselling 
  • 52% of respondents thought educating the public on how to better support each other would be helpful

Learn more:

Please consider sharing via your newsletters and social media. Find draft newsletter text and social media posts here.

Grief infographic available

We’re excited to share our first resource to help people understand their own, and others’ grief. This infographic highlights key facts about grief that are commonly misunderstood. Thank you to the grief specialists and our Great Big Grief Focus Group for their time and insights in creating this resource. 

View English infographic.

View French infographic

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Never in our lifetimes has Canada experienced the volume and complexity of grief as has resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Canadians have been robbed of goodbyes with dying friends and family or people they care about and forced to grieve in isolation without funeral rites. They and those working on the front lines of health care are at heightened risk for prolonged, complicated grief marked by depression, and the risk of suicide. Existing grief services are fragmented, under-funded and insufficient. Left unaddressed, significant long-term social, health and economic impacts will result.

The Canadian Grief Alliance – a coalition of national leaders in grief and bereavement - is urging the Government of Canada to bolster the country’s grief services to meet the growing demand. Existing and recently announced mental health initiatives do not include grief services.

The proposal is supported by leading health, palliative care, and bereavement organizations including the Canadian Medical Association; the Canadian Psychiatric Association; the Canadian Nurses Association; Canadian Association of Social Workers; Canadian Association of Spiritual Care; the Canadian Alliance for Grieving Children and Youth and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, plus 150 other organizations.

“This is the hidden tragedy in the current crisis, but one that will also have long term implications for many individual Canadians as well as our health care systems and the economy. Many people are now facing the deaths of loved ones, isolated from networks of family and friends that normally help people get through such heartwrenching moments in their lives. Unless we step up and help people now, we will be dealing with the human toll for many years to come.” Paul Adams, CGA media spokesperson

The CGA applauds the increased investments for mental health services, however, grief services are outside the scope of these programs and are falling through the cracks of the Government’s response to COVID-19.

The CGA is calling for:

  • Develop a consultation-driven National Grief Strategy in the next 4 months to identify gaps, best practices and priorities.
  • Sustain and expand grief services by investing $100 million over three years to implement the National Grief Strategy.
  • Launch a national public awareness campaign to increase Canadians' understanding of grief, healthy coping strategies, and build the capacity of individuals and communities to support the grieving.
  • Invest $10 million in grief research to help us understand and respond to pandemic-related grief.

A pandemic of grief: 1 year of grief in Canada during COVID-19

March 8, 2021 marks one year since the first Canadian died of COVID-19. Since then, nearly 3 million Canadians are grieving a death during this pandemic. Watch this video for some of their stories.


Elder Roberta Price of Coast Salish Snuneymuxw & Cowichan offers a national blessing for our grief.