Grief Coach

Seattle / Vancouver, United States
Emma Payne, CEO
Which of the following best describes your company?
Small- or medium-sized company

Type of company (check all applicable)
  • Health Tech
  • Software

If other, please specify

Area of Specialization
  • Social Distancing Apps or Related Technology

If other, please specify
Grief Support

Do you have a need for / interest in hiring a coop/intern student?
Yes, immediately

Describe your company's current technology and solutions
Grief Coach is headquartered in Seattle, WA with our design and development teams based in British Columbia. The company delivers personalized text messages to help people stay connected and supported as they grieve, safely and from a distance. Grieving people receive resources and tips, all year long, based on their relationship to the deceased, cause of death, age and more. If the grieving person has friends and family who want to help, they can receive texts as well. Grief Coach provides support after losses to cancer, suicide, stillbirths, accidents, and more. We now also provide support for people who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.

Our newly released text message series for people mourning a COVID-19 death, includes specialized messages to help people cope with the feelings of anger, frustration and guilt that bereavement experts are already seeing among those who have lost someone to the virus. COVID-19 grievers may feel angry with people who aren’t social distancing, for example, or sadness because they couldn't sit at their loved one’s bedside. As with all grief, these feelings need to be heard and validated, however the global pandemic has taken away the funerals, workshops, visits with friends, and therapy sessions people would normally rely on after a death.

New kinds of online and mobile grief support are urgently needed, to make sure that no-one has to grieve alone.

Are you aware of any current government challenges or opportunities that would be addressed by using your technology solution? Or a future need you can identify?
City, state, provincial and federal government departments are looking for ways to deliver scalable grief support to their healthcare workers, essential workers, students and other citizens who are isolated. Unfortunately traditional bereavement activities and programs such as funerals, support groups, workshops and in-person therapy are no longer available, and even as these things return, existing programs will be unable to meet demand. Grief Coach is delivered safely from a distance, and is extremely scalable. Whereas in-person supports are more readily available in cities, and often come at a high cost, Grief Coach's text-based support is accessible by anyone with a mobile phone, regardless of geography.

Organizations such as hospices, nursing homes, hospitals and NGOs who provide bereavement support, are also facing significant challenges as a result of the coronavirus. They are seeing more deaths, while at the same time finding themselves less able to provide bereavement care as they work to maintain social distancing standards and keep workers safe. Grief Coach can deliver text-based support on behalf of these organizations, safely and from a distance.

Finally, the Grief Coach platform also gives government agencies the ability to send direct messages via text. Subscribers could be sent COVID-19 updates for example, or notices that are particularly relevant for grieving citizens (i.e. changes to funeral home restrictions, new bereavement benefits, etc).

As the COVID crisis continues, please describe specific opportunities where your technology might support Canadian needs / government needs
COVID-19 threatens our physical health, but the long-lasting impact on Canadians' mental health is already being reported. We can already see the surging need for mental health support for people struggling with unemployment, returning to workplaces that feel unsafe, dealing with financial and relationship strain, and more. Increased levels of anxiety, stress, and sadness are being reported across all demographics, with extra concern mounting for healthcare workers, teenagers, those recently unemployed, people who are grieving alone, and more.

While Grief Coach is designed to support people after a death, there is an opportunity to also provide support for broader COVID losses, which will help people to care for each other and access resources during these difficult times.

Do you have any final reflections or comments?
Thank you for your consideration. As a Canadian citizen myself, currently living in Seattle, but with my design & development teams in British Columbia, I would be honoured to play a role in supporting Canadians at this difficult time.