Death and bereavement

Coping with the death of a loved one is a personal experience. Grief is a normal response to loss, and everyone processes it differently. You will find information and resources on this webpage to help you cope with your loss and feelings of grief.

You will also find information and resources at The Ottawa Hospital, including a journey through the end of life (PDF) and guide outlining what you may need when a loved one dies (PDF).

Bereavement groups in Ottawa 

  • Bereaved Families of Ontario
    Phone: 613-567-4278
    Bereaved Families of Ontario is an organization of people who have each experienced their own grief. 
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
    Phone: 613-737-7791
    The Canadian Mental Health Association is a national charity that helps maintain and improve mental health for all Canadians. 
  • Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program (grief and bereavement support) 
    Phone: 613-683-3779
    The Champlain Hospice Palliative Care Program offers bereavement support, information and services that help people manage the emotions associated with grief. Support can often include services, treatments and care that assist people with physical, emotional, and spiritual changes that are related to a death or loss.
  • (bereavement support resources) 
    Phone: 310-2222 (no area code required)
    Additional phone numbers are available on the webpage for individual support groups.

Bereavement programs provide emotional support, problem-solving assistance, information, and guidance for people who have recently lost a loved one. Included are counselling programs and mutual support groups for widows and widowers, children who have lost a parent, parents who have lost a child, and other people who are grieving.

    Phone: Many are listed on the webpage. 
  • Funeral Co-Operative of Ottawa
    Phone: 613-288-2689
    The Funeral Co-Operative of Ottawa helps families in the Ottawa area commemorate the passing of their loved ones with dignity and in the manner of their choosing. They also have a list of books on grieving.  
  • Hospice Care Ottawa
    Phone: 613-680-0306
    Staff of Hospice Care Ottawa and trained volunteers are available to listen and provide support. Programs are available to those experiencing a death through a life-limiting illness who live in the city of Ottawa. Find bereavement groups in English and French, partner/spousal support groups, adult loss of parent groups, bereavement retreats, and counselling. 
  • The Distress Centre
    Phone: Main phone: 613-238-1089; Distress Line (Ottawa): 613-238-3311; Crisis Line (within Ottawa): 613-722-6914; Crisis Line (outside Ottawa): 1-866-996-0991 
    The Distress Centre of Ottawa is your local connection to mental health support and resources, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • The Ottawa Hospital
    This article is for information only. Suggested services include: 
    24/7 Distress Line: 613-238-3311
    Mental Health Crisis Line: within Ottawa 613-722-6914, or surrounding areas 1-866-966-0991
    Ontario Mental Health Hotline: 1-866-531-2600
    Walk-in counselling clinics 
    ConnexOntario or 1-866-531-2600 

Community-based counselling services

Unfortunately, due to high demand, our wait list is currently closed and we are not accepting new clients at this time.
Most insurance plans accepted.

The Ottawa Pastoral Counselling Centre offers counselling and psychotherapy services to individuals, couples, and families, including children and teens.

  • Men & Healing
    PO Box 4755, Station E, Ottawa
    Phone: 613-482-9363

Fee-based services for men. Most insurance plans accepted.

  • Walk-In Counselling Clinic 
    Phone: 613-755-2277
    Family Services Ottawa: 613- 725-3601
    Counselling and Family Services Ottawa: 613-233-8478 

Free counselling services, support for life’s challenges, and counselling to individuals, couples, and families.

Additional community resources

  • (power of attorney and public guardianship resources) 
    Phone: 310-2222 (no area code required)

A Power of Attorney is a legal document naming a specific person to act on your behalf (sometimes called a substitute decision-maker) in case you become incapable of making your own decisions. There are three kinds of power of attorney: personal care (health care and housing); continuing property (financial affairs); and non-continuing property (short-term management of financial affairs).

Public guardianship programs are operated by the province, which is responsible for investigating the need to appoint a guardian for people who are mentally incapable. The government may serve as a guardian in cases where no one else is available or willing.

Jewish Family Services of Ottawa is a full service, non-sectarian agency serving residents of the greater Ottawa area – located at 2255 Carling Avenue, Suite 300. More than 65 programs and services are available to children, youth, adults, and seniors, be they individuals, couples, families, or groups.

Monday-Friday, 8-5 p.m. for Inuit patients looking for resources.

The mission of The Compassionate Friends is to aid in the positive reconciliation of grief and foster the physical and emotional health of bereaved parents and their surviving children and to help others to be supportive. The Compassionate Friends has no religious affiliation.

  • Your employee assistance program

You may find support from an employee assistant program (EAP) through your work. An EAP is a work-based intervention program designed to assist employees handle stressors related to work, family, financial woes, bereavement and more.