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Statistics show that one out of three college students are grieving the death of a loved one or a loved one’s diagnosis of a terminal illness. Sadly, college students are a particularly vulnerable subset of society when they are impacted by grief. Chances are, most students have never experienced the death of a loved one and don’t know how to cope. 

When someone dies while they are at college, they are away from home or leaving home, often for the first time and are separated from their usual support systems.

College Student Grief Awareness Day is here to make this struggle more well known how difficult this is and encourage people in communities to be more supportive and helpful.

History of College Student Grief Awareness Day

In many cases, when college students are grieving, they don’t know where to turn for help. Their peers typically don’t understand or have the tools to deal with grief and therefore, these students often do not receive the empathy or support they need. With many college campuses having limited grief support resources available, these students may be at high risk to a host of issues, including a feeling of isolation, an inability to focus on their school work, a lack of energy, and sometimes depression or other mental health struggles.

The Actively Moving Forward (AMF) program is dedicated to supporting young adults grieving the illness or death of a loved one. This grief support network has been active for more than a decade and has continued to grow each year.

AMF is a peer-led program, currently active on at least 50 college campuses nationwide, connects and empowers grieving students to support one another and inspires them to “Actively Move Forward” with community service. In addition, the AMF organization has been recognized internationally and supports young adults from ages 18 to 30.

AMF has already supported over 3000 students on over 200 campuses throughout the United States. The goal is to be an international movement, to empower students throughout the world so that one can make intentional steps to move forward with the necessary tools for healthy grief recovery.

The College Student Grief Awareness Day campaign was established to raise attention for the needs that college students and other young adults have to be able to process and deal with the struggles they have from the death of a loved one or other loss in their life.

How to Observe College Student Grief Awareness Day

This important day is situated during the spring semester of the school year, offering an important opportunity for those who love and care about college students to get involved and offer hope.

Download the Actively Moving Forward (AMF) App

Get access to a larger community of young adults and people who are working through their own grief in this peer led group. The AMF app can be downloaded to an Apple or Android device and used to gain tools and resources to foster healthy growth after a loss. Users of the free app are able to keep these resources with them right in their pockets, wherever they go. Those aren’t college students or young adults but know someone who might need help with grief can recommend the AMF app in honor of College Student Grief Awareness Day. 

Receive Training as a Grief Counselor

Some people who want to take this type of work very seriously may find they want to go further by signing up for some grief counseling training. This can be done in a variety of levels, from becoming a professional counselor with a degree, or simply by receiving some training to be a peer bereavement supporter. College Student Grief Awareness Day might be just the motivation that’s needed to get started.

Get Help 

College students, young adults, or even older adults who are facing struggles with the way that they are dealing with grief should never be ashamed to get help. In fact, College Student Grief Awareness Day would be an ideal time to get motivated to contact AMF, call a friend to talk and get support, or make an appointment to see a counselor who can help walk through various kinds of grief. Stepping on to the road to health and healing after grief and loss is a brave and bold step to take!

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