The AIDS Bereavement and Resiliency Program of Ontario (ABRPO) is a unique resource for Ontario’s AIDS-serving agencies looking explicitly at loss and transition as a means to build individual and team capacity within their organizational setting.
Since 1994, ABRPO has collaborated with organizations to build worker, agency and community resiliency in the face of AIDS-related multiple loss and transition. ABRPO supports AIDS-serving organizations in developing tools for multi-level responses to the stressors arising from the evolving nature of HIV work, particularly complex losses.
In addition to the pre-existing legacy of multiple death-related losses, agency personnel are responding to HIV as a chronic illness increasingly associated with a degree of predictability and also uncertainty as people live longer with HIV. Staff and boards are also called on to effectively manage the losses inherent in change and transition as they incorporate agency shifts in strategic directions, funding challenges, etc.
ABRPO works with groups to design workshops, train paid and unpaid workers and assist management in assessing and enhancing individual, agency and community resiliency. The work of ABRPO facilitates:
- workers to maintain high levels of quality in human service;
- organizations to maintain efficacy in the face of significant loss and transition;
- communities to respond effectively to the diverse populations requiring support;
- agencies and community members with the practical implementation of GIPA/MIPA as part of a people living with HIV/AIDS resiliency framework.
To access ABRPO services, contact the ABRPO Director at 416-205-9888 ext 224.
Good Grief Care Pilot Project
ABRPO was engaged to design and implement a four-month pilot project in response to the loss-impact being experienced by Toronto housing workers and community members as they deal with unexpected opioid-related deaths and overdoses. The project included conducting impact debriefing circles and tailored training for managers and frontline workers on grief and loss.
Key Emergent Themes Across All Events and Surveys
- Grief and loss is having significant impact on workers and managers.
- The debriefings are an important and effective opportunity for workers to process some of the grief and loss and that doing so enabled them to refocus on their daily responsibilities.
- Managers and organizations were under resourced in terms of knowledge, time and staffing to effectively deal with the impact of grief and loss.
- Connection is the antidote to loss — not that connection would mean the loss was not relevant or painful, but that connection would enable staff, organizations, and communities to recover from their losses. This is the essence of resilience.