Kim Warren Holscher: Healing Hearts support group shows you are not alone | SierraSun.com

Kim Warren Holscher: Healing Hearts support group shows you are not alone

Other Voices
Kim Warren Holscher

Tahoe's Connection for Families has announced a new assistance program to serve a great need in our community.

Healing Hearts is a support group to aid those suffering from grief due to miscarriage or infertility challenges.

This free 10-week group begins Wednesday, Sept. 5, and will be led by local psychotherapists, Pamela Donohue and Lindsay Fletcher Hardie.

Healing Hearts is made possible because of a generous grant Tahoe's Connection for Families received from the Lahontan Community Foundation Fund held at the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation. The Lahontan Community Foundation Fund has shown great support for organizations that serve the Truckee/North Tahoe region, this year awarding $138,110 to 17 organizations.

Tahoe's Connection for Families is thrilled to receive this grant funding to start this new program. Because of this grant, we will be able to provide a refuge to those struggling to start a family or encountering heartbreak due to miscarriage or infertility challenges.

I joyfully cried when I learned Lahontan Community Foundation Fund was sharing their support with us. I know there is a great need for this support. I have suffered from two miscarriages and I feel like my heart broke. Even though the first anniversaries of the losses have come and gone, the sadness continues to be strong and has been overwhelmingly dark at times.

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Though starting a family and welcoming a new baby is often a time of happiness and joy, for some it can come with sadness, depression, and loss. Support after the loss of a pregnancy through miscarriage and the depression many feel with infertility challenges are great areas of need in our community. Often women and families experience these two incredibly hard times alone, without the benefit of a community or psychological professional to aid them in recovery and healing.

Tahoe's Connection for Families is grateful to bring this needed support to our region. Helping growing families and encouraging them to connect with our community is a passion for Tahoe's Connections for Families. From its inception, TCF has striven to provide an inclusive, supportive, and safe place for local families.

Research shows 10 to 20 percent of known pregnancies end in miscarriage and women often mourn privately but are at greater risk for anxiety and depression when they do not seek assistance. Professionals suggest support group assistance.

"In this Healing Hearts group we will create a safe and supportive environment to talk about the heartbreak of miscarriage and fertility issues," said Donohue, one of the local therapists leading the group. "Two psychotherapists will be there to help you heal on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. We will discuss the many aspects of thwarted motherhood and the grief and stress it produces. I hope you will come to this group for your own healing."

Though miscarriage is relatively common, this experience is tragic and can impact a woman and family for years to come. The tragedy of miscarriage has traditionally been private; an event grieved largely by the mother alone. In the past, health-care professionals advised these women that the sadness would grow less pronounced over time, especially following a successful pregnancy. However, new research suggests that women mourn for longer than expected and are at risk for depression and anxiety.

The key to improved mental and physical health after a miscarriage is communication that mothers and families are not alone; a support group is vital to conveying this message. It is TCF's desire that suffering mothers and families in our community receive this message and professional help.

After my first miscarriage I reached out to friends who had experienced this extreme loss also. The power of each of us sharing our stories was the beginning of my acceptance and healing. Suffering from grief after losing a pregnancy is so lonely. I am forever grateful TCF can open our doors and hearts to aid healing, build support and community, and remind individuals they are not alone.

To reserve your spot for this free support group or for more information, please email or call one of the psychotherapists leading the group by Aug. 29. Pamela Donohue, MFT at pamelaldonohue@gmail.com or 775-833-3030 or Lindsay Hardie, PhD at lindsayhardie@hushmail.com or 775-219-9840.

Kim Warren Holscher is executive director of Tahoe's Connection for Families.

KNOW & GO

WHO: Individuals suffering from grief due to miscarriage or infertility

WHAT: Healing Hearts – 10-week support group

WHEN: Wednesdays, starting Sept. 5 (either 11:30 a.m. or 5:30 p.m., TBA)

WHERE: Tahoe’s Connection for Families 761 Northwood Blvd. Incline Village, Nev.

INFO: Pamela Donohue, MFT at pamelaldonohue@gmail.com or 775-833-3030 or Lindsay Hardie, PhD at lindsayhardie@hushmail.com or 775-219-9840.