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Substance Use Prevention and Harm Reduction

Grief support for drug-related loss (Philly HEALs)

Our bereavement support program is called Philly HEALs, which stands for Healing and Empowerment After Loss. We provide care and support for these grieving the loss of a loved one related to substance use.

This grief can include symptoms such as:

  • Sadness.
  • Anger or irritability.
  • Numbness.
  • Anxiety or racing thoughts.
  • Relief (and guilt from feeling that relief).
  • A feeling of being “stuck.”

Grief counseling can’t “fix” you, because there is nothing wrong with you. However, we can provide a non-judgmental space to work through your relationship with the loved one you lost. We can help you understand the complicated emotions you are experiencing.

Philly HEALs offers online peer support groups, individual grief counseling for adults and youth, educational workshops, and more.

Peer support groups

  • Drop-in Group
  • Parents’ Group
  • Hot Widows’ Club
  • Hay Otros en Duelo
  • Writing Grief

Learn more about our support groups.

Counseling, workshops, and other support

Always Beside Us

Always Beside Us is a virtual memorial that honors the lives of people lost to overdose and other drug-related deaths in Philadelphia. You can submit photographs, memories, and messages in remembrance of someone you have lost to substance use.

Other resources

Philly HEALs is proud to be one of the many organizations in Philadelphia providing support and resources for grief, substance use disorder, and harm reduction work.

Learn more about other helpful organizations.

Other support

We don’t work outside normal business hours. If you’re in crisis and need emergency help, please don’t wait. Call 988 or (215) 685-6440, where folks are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help.

Not an emergency but need to talk to someone ASAP? Call the NAMI Philadelphia Warmline at (844) 745-4673. These caring folks will help you to feel heard and understood. Available Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you are not eligible for our grief counseling program, you can search for counselors and therapists that take your insurance at Psychology Today’s Find a Therapist.


Kaitlin Worden, MSW, LSW
Bereavement Care Program Manager
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Cadence Giles, MA, LPC Candidate
Bereavement Care Provider
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Rachel Essy, MFT
Bereavement Care Provider
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Antonia Jiménez-Trail, MS, LSW
Bereavement Care Provider/Consejera de Duelo
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Suzannah McNamara, MS, LPC Candidate
Child and Adolescent Counselor
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Samantha Sandy, MS
Child and Adolescent Counselor
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