Why AMF, a HealGrief® program, has made such an impact:
AMF is the first initiative of its kind: created by grieving college students for grieving college students. AMF has also benefited from the expertise of nonprofit leaders, professional staff, college mental health professionals, and bereavement experts.
Unlike generalized counseling services, AMF outlets are targeted to the specific population in need. AMF Chapter Leaders create unique peer-led support groups, which are NOT a counseling services, but rather a support system for grieving students to connect and share their experiences with other people who “get it.” The format for these meetings are the most unique part of it all. Our AMFers asked to be able to build these communities in ways that felt right for them, which meant they wanted to create social gatherings where they could find like-minded individuals who weren’t afraid to talk about grief, but also find a safe environment to have fun together. You may see AMF meetings in coffee shops, attending a yoga class, going for a hike, or just enjoying each other’s company out for dinner.
Furthermore, AMF Campus Chapters provide an array of supportive opportunities. Many college students may be reluctant to participate in support groups or counseling and then for those who do, they too may benefit from more than one resource. The more outlets we can give people to connect, cope, and grow – the better!
Chapter Leaders make meaning and find benefits by channeling their grief towards helping other students. They also benefit by participation in the Service Group. The Service Group provides a tangible and therapeutic benefit for the bereaved, a positive impact on the community at large, and an opportunity for friends of the bereaved to show their support. Abundant anecdotal evidence suggests that students, especially males, who may shy away from support groups and professional counseling, have found participation in AMF service activities to be a significantly therapeutic and often preferable outlet (Fajgenbaum, et al., 2012).
We pride ourselves on listening to our young adults and helping them create outlets for their grief that will aid them in connection, support, and empowerment throughout their grief journey. We are also able to do this at a local level through our AMF/Community Center partnerships.