Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Benefits of joining support groups during tough times

Fatima Durrani
Cerritos College offers numerous support programs through Student Health Services as well as Student Accessibility Services. Cerritos College welcomes those who are in need of physical and mental health to these programs.

Oftentimes, people cope with grief and unhealthy ways, such as isolating themselves, substance abuse, losing control of themselves or denial etc. Support groups aim to combat unhealthy coping mechanisms providing a safe space for people to talk about their feelings, and receive proper guidance along with support.

Cerritos College offers a grief and growth support group, hosted by Humberto Hernandez, at Student Health Services. The grief and growth support group is held every Wednesday until March 9 from 3 to 4 p.m.

Hernandez said that he describes grief as a natural emotional response to a significant loss. It can range from the ending of a relationship to the death of a loved one.

“People deal with grief differently,” he said, “people manage grief at their own pace.”

The employee from Cerritos College explained how people oftentimes put pressure on those grieving, expecting them to just be over with it. Hernandez said that it’s important to realize that grief can still be with someone as they move on, and that it’s done at everyone’s own pace. Acceptance of grief can include unbearable feelings or simply just feeling okay.

“Another important aspect of that (grief) is finding support, whether that’s in your personal space or professional space,” Hernandez said, “like a therapist, for instance.” He said that people who are religious or spiritual could look into religious or spiritual leaders to also find support.

Finding a confidential place to let out your feelings is a healthy coping mechanism. The grief and growth support group focuses on providing that space, along with educating participants on how to cope with the process of grief.

Hernandez said that people who experienced loss during the COVID-19 pandemic or were reminded of who they lost played a role in getting him to lead this support group (in addition to the other support groups he hosts). His goal is to get students to feel the support they need from not only him, but their peers as well.

“I think it’s helpful when people can feel heard, and that they can tell their story,” Hernandez said. “When they’re able to share memories of the people they lost, it can serve as a memorial of the person they lost.”

A typical session in the grief and growth support group looks like a period of warming up (for new participants) with knowledge about grief and other terminologies, as well as ensuring that no participant feels pressured or picked on to share their feelings.

Hernandez said that if new participants don’t feel like saying anything and would rather quietly observe it’s perfectly fine – there is no pressure on anyone who attends to talk or share anything that they wish not to.

“We have, in the past, been able to help people find ongoing therapy at either free or a low cost,” Hernandez said. “Seek us out at Student Health Services and we can be a part of the process to help people connect to free or low cost resources.”

If you or someone you know is experiencing grief and in need of a support group, click the link here to register for the grief and growth support group hosted by Humberto Hernandez, Ph.D.

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About the Contributor
Fatima Durrani
Fatima Durrani, Opinion Editor
Fatima Durrani is the Opinion Editor & c0-online editor for Talon Marks. She is a Journalism major for Pre-law, and this is her last semester at Talon Mark before she transfers to a university. In addition to reporting, Fatima enjoys singing, editing photos, creating short films and reading poetry.
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Benefits of joining support groups during tough times