9. Providing Psychosocial Care: Part 2 - Loss and Grief

Loss and grief are prominent features of the psychosocial landscape when a person is dying. PSWs will learn the essential truths about loss and grief and engage in reflections on a personal experience to anchor their new understandings of loss and grief. Learners build practical skills for providing compassionate comfort for a grieving person, including ways to communicate that convey support and understanding. In the section on children and grief, PSWs learn how children differ in their grieving and common concerns, and understand ways for supporting grieving children. In the final module, students explore their own beliefs about MAID and learn ways to respond to a person interested in MAID or requesting MAID.


Course Overview

In this course, Providing Psychosocial Care - Part 2: Loss and Grief, students explore a loss and a time they experienced grief to set the groundwork for their understanding. Learning the basic truths about loss, and why grief is considered a whole person experience provides the background knowledge for developing the practical skills for supporting a grieving person and family. Exploring the differences in how children grieve, their concerns and strategies for supporting children prepares PSWs for supporting parents. An exploration of the PSW's role in responding to requests for MAID involves a personal reflection on beliefs about MAID and learning the practical communication skills for responding and sharing information with the team.


At the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Explain the basic truths about loss.
  • Discuss how grieving is a whole person experience and how this understanding can help the care team to support a grieving person.
  • Identify the role of integrating a palliative approach and advance care planning in facilitating ways to support a grieving person.
  • Explain how people grieve in different ways.
  • Demonstrate ways to support people as they grieve.
  • Discuss how to support and communicate with children experiencing losses and grief.
  • Identify your beliefs about Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) and demonstrate ways to respond when a person is interested in or requests Medical Assistance in Dying.



In this course you will need:

  1. Access to a printer for course documents
  2. A writing journal or notebook for writing reflections and course notes.


Google Chrome is the recommended internet browser for these courses.



To be able to complete the quiz and submit it for grading, you must open every slide in every module.

Failure to open all slides may prevent you from submitting your quiz for grading.


Module 1: Truths about losses

This module addresses losses and grief, and how important it is as a PSW to be able to support a person through their loss and grief.

The truths about losses is basic information that should be taught to everyone. Understanding these simple truths is essential to providing compassionate psychosocial care, as well as to living life to it's fullest. Let's get started!

Module 2: Grief is a whole person experience

The title of this module, "grief is a whole person experience" gives away what the module discusses. You will learn how grief is experienced in the body, and the different ways that individuals express their grief. And, as part of the learning, you'll explore your own grieving experiences and style.

Module 3: Supporting a grieving person and family

In this section of the course you will learn practical skills for supporting a grieving person and their family, including how to recognize when a grieving person may need extra compassion, understanding and support.

Module 4: Supporting children whose loved one is dying

A child's grief and their ways of grieving are different from those adults.

Learn how children grieve, their concerns when someone is dying, and practical strategies that can help parents when they are concerned about their child's grief.

Module 5: Responding to requests for MAID

The role of the PSW in responding to requests for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) is the topic for this module. Reflect on your beliefs about MAID and learn how to respond when a person asks about or requests MAID.

Module 6: Quiz

Welcome to Module 6: Course Quiz!


Requirements: Grade of 70% or greater to pass the course.

There are 3 opportunities to pass the quiz.

The answer key is shown only after you have passed the quiz.


Check here before starting the quiz

Have you viewed, or clicked on all slides of all modules?

If you have missed any slides, the quiz will NOT be graded.

You will know you have missed slides if you submit the quiz for grading, and you do not get a grade for it within minutes.


How to fix this

1. Go back into the modules, select "Menu" in the top left (red circle in image below). This view displays all the slides in the module. 

2. A viewed slide will have a check mark beside it (Red arrows are pointing at the check marks).

3. If a slide does not have a check mark beside it, click the title to set it as viewed. A check mark will appear.

4. Repeat this process for all modules of the course.

5. When finished, open the quiz module. You will now be able to submit the quiz for grading.



Good luck!