Coping with End of Life Award

The Camp Kerry Society is proud to be the recipient of the 2018 Coping with End of Life Award, which recognizes our BC Family Bereavement Retreat Program,”Camp Kerry, for improving the quality of health care in British Columbia. Aside from the recognition, we have lots to celebrate because $2,500 also comes with this award! These funds will be used to support five children from rural, remote, and/or Indigenous communities in BC – each of who will get to attend our 2018 family bereavement retreat next fall.

On average, 35,000 people die each year in BC and at least 175,000 family members (including children) are affected by those deaths. Research indicates that both mental health and daily functioning of children, youth and families can be negatively impacted for a lengthy period of time following a significant loss. Resources within the health care system for this vulnerable population group are extremely limited and this gap in service prompted the development, in 2007, of a unique family bereavement retreat program called Camp Kerry. The mandate of Camp Kerry is to foster a “compassionate community” of hope and belonging for those who are bereaved.

Camp Kerry is unique in caring for entire families, as opposed to most mental health and medical services that focus on the individual. While these services are also valuable, Camp Kerry identified a need to address the impact that a death has on all members of a family unit. It is the only program of its type in Canada, with programs that encompass education, support and counselling services delivered through a range of innovative formats, including family retreats.