By Erin Kirkland
Senior Voice 

COVID-19 grief and loss assistance available through Red Cross


June 1, 2020

The American Red Cross recently launched a Virtual Family Assistance Center (VFAC) at to support families struggling with loss and grief due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

“This is an incredibly difficult time for everyone, but especially for those who have lost a loved one due to COVID-19,” said Annie Caulfield, American Red Cross of Alaska disaster mental health regional lead. “Not only have these families experienced the unexpected passing of a loved one, but they are also facing additional challenges caused by this public health emergency. We want them to know that the Red Cross is here to provide compassion and support as they grieve.”

Many families across the country have experienced a disrupted bereavement and grief process due to restrictions related to COVID-19. To help, the Red Cross has set up a virtual team of specially trained mental health, spiritual care and health services volunteers who are:

• Connecting with families over the phone to offer condolences, support and access to resources that may be available

• Providing support for virtual memorial services for families, including connecting with local faith-based community partners

• Hosting online classes to foster resilience and facilitate coping skills

• Sharing information and referrals to state and local agencies as well as other community organizations including legal resources for estate, custody, immigration or other issues

All Family Assistance Center support will be provided virtually and is completely confidential and free.

People can visit to access a support hub with special virtual programs, information, referrals and services to support families in need across Alaska and around the country. People without internet access can call 833-492-0094 for help.


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