What is the Good Grief Network?

The Good Grief Network builds personal resilience while strengthening community ties to help combat despair, inaction, eco-anxiety, and other heavy emotions in the face of daunting systemic predicaments. The state of the world seems unmanageable, chaotic even. For those of us paying attention, awareness of our systemic issues is confusing and painful. You may feel pulled to act, but don’t know what to do.

• Do you want to transform the status quo so it protects the basic rights the majority of folks and not just desires of the 1%?
• Do you feel a nudge to help protect ecosystems and biodiversity?
• Do you yearn to preserve the best parts of being alive and pass it to future generations?
• Do you view all people as equal and think no one deserves to starve?
• Do you feel the need to protect the voiceless?
• Do you feel overwhelmed by today’s news headlines?
• Are you worried about the state of democracy?
• 
Have you ever felt helpless or hopeless about racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, and other systemic issues?
• Does species extinction or climate change keep you up at night?
• Do you want to live in a world with less violence and more cooperation?
• Do you want a better life with fewer work hours, more time with your loved ones, and rich experiences?
• Are you unsure of your skills and how you can contribute positively to your community?

If most of these questions stir something in you, you are not alone! We want feel it too! The old paradigm is fading and we want to help usher in the new one: one based in genuine love, mutual respect, life-preserving, over-consumption fighting, and lending a helping hand.

The Good Grief Network opens peoples’ hearts. Each of us possesses tremendous wisdom within that we have been conditioned to ignore. By appealing to our brains with research and resources, we open the door for more heart-centered work. We provide a gateway to practice opening and trusting our hearts, to transcend fear and re-establish connections. This creates a foundation of resilience and strength to show up outwardly as activists and advocates for the things we love and care about.

Through a variety of techniques, we facilitate the metabolization of heavy feelings which puts us at risk for burnout, falling into despair, ecoanxiety, or depression. We build psychosocial resilience to help each person uncover their greatest strengths and determine how best to contribute to the world we want to co-create. We provide tools and an encouraging community that helps overcome denial, and prevent hopelessness, helplessness, activism fatigue, and burn out. These tools are necessary for anyone looking to sustain themselves for the long haul.

Good Grievers treasure critical thinking, nuanced dialogue, and coloring outside of the lines. Community is Tragedy’s remedy.

Open minds, respect, and integrity are required.

Our Team

Aimee Lewis-Reau, CoFounder & Creative Director

Born and raised in southeast Michigan, Aimee is a certified Scholè Yoga Instructor and RYT 200. She DJs under the name eXis10shAL and takes delight in making crowds dance, because Alice Walker said it best: “Hard times require furious dancing.”

Aimee received her Bachelor’s degree in English, Poetry, and Religion from Central Michigan University before obtaining her MFA in Creative Nonfiction from Georgia College & State University. Small, but fierce, Aimee is edgy yet reverent.

You can reach her at Aimee(at)goodgriefnetwork(dot)org

LaUra Schmidt, CoFounder & Director Of Operations

Grief chose me. From a very early age, I’ve been surrounded by– and embedded in– grief. My parents were alcoholics/addicts and I experienced significant trauma and many deaths along the way. 

With such a tumultuous upbringing, I was given a choice: give up & give in or figure out why the hell I am here and bring meaning to my own existence. I chose the latter. I choose to be a force of good in the world.

I am skilled at holding space and sitting with uncertainty and discomfort. I have worked with a Rites of Passage guide, a shamanic practitioner, many therapists, and in Adult Children of Alcoholics to clear my trauma and practice becoming the best version of myself.

I am trained in nonviolent civil disobedience, and am a  Climate Reality Leadership Corps member & mentor. I am in the process of earning certificates in Mindfulness Practice and Life Coaching.

While a bit of a nomad, I hail from Michigan, and graduated from Central Michigan University with a BS in Environmental Studies, Biology, and Religious Studies. My MS in Environmental Humanities was earned from the University of Utah.

I grew to understand the importance of place through spending some time living and playing in North Carolina & the bayous of Louisiana (directly after the BP oil spill). Inspiration finds me in natural landscapes and honest, open-hearted dialogue. You can reach me at Laura(at)goodgriefnetwork(dot)org

Good Grief in the News

How the Mental Health Community Is Bracing for the Impact of Climate Change: “Eco-anxiety” and trauma from natural disasters will be on the rise along with sea levels, RollingStone, Andrea Marks – May 16, 2019

Climate anxiety is real, but there’s something you can do about it, CNN, Jen ChristensenMay 7, 2019

‘Climate grief’: The growing emotional toll of climate change
NBC News, Avichai Scher – December 24, 2018

Young people are suffering from ‘climate grief’
MSN, Avichai Scher – December 24, 2018

Fears around climate change are causing some people to seek out support groups
CBC, Alison Masemann and Danielle Carr – November 29, 2018

How to process climate grief over the California wildfires
Grist, Eric Holthaus – November 13, 2018

Is The Changing Climate Giving You Anxiety? You’re Not Alone.
KRCC, Ali Bunder – October 19, 2018

Episode 1 – Good Grief
Audiofiles, Avi Scher – October 17, 2018

Will Climate Change Actually Increase Suicide Rates?
Earther, Yessenia Funes – July 25, 2018

Using Nature as a Remedy for Eco-Anxiety
Dissecting the News, Matt Zhao – April 19, 2018

How Worry About Climate Change Affects Us
Wisconsin Public Radio, Kate Archer Kent – January 4, 2018

Utah: EcoAnxiety
Weather Channel, Stephanie Valera – December 19, 2017

First Step To ‘Eco-Grieving’ Over Climate Change? Admit There’s A Problem
NPR, Judy Fahys – April 22, 2017

Feeling Helpless About the Future of the Planet? Now There’s a 9-Step Program For That
Fusion, Caroline Preston – April 4, 2017

New Support Group Focuses on Climate Grief
KUER, Judy Fahys – January 12, 2017

How to Address ‘Climate Grief:’ A support group for people feeling distress about global warming
Yale Climate Connections, Sara Peach December 5, 2016

Support group helps those with ‘climate grief’
E&E News November 30, 2016

This nine-step program is like Alcoholics Anonymous for climate anxiety
Grist, Sabrina Imbler – November 29, 2016

Sad about climate change? There’s a support group for that
Yale Climate Connections, Daisy Simmons – November 28, 2016

Step aside, Old White Guys
Durango Telegraph, Joy Martin – August 18, 2016