If you have experienced the death of a loved one from the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic, the American Red Cross offers free support to help you through this difficult time. From spiritual care to help with planning virtual services, their Integrated Condolence Care Program is staffed by compassionate professionals and volunteers through their Virtual Family Assistance Center. In this episode clinical psychologist Valerie Cole shares how this program can help you navigate grief during these unprecedented times.
About Valerie Cole, Ph.D.
Dr. Cole is a clinical psychologist and the Director of the Integrated Condolence Care Program at the American Red Cross National Headquarters. Dr. Cole has been with the American Red Cross since 1999, beginning her career as a volunteer in Rochester NY with the Disaster Mental Health team. In 2005 and 2006, Dr. Cole assisted in developing and implementing the New York State Office of Mental Health and Department of Public Health training, Disaster Mental Health: A Critical Response. She has written curricula on provision of disaster mental health services related to substance abuse and mental illness during disaster and has published on social support and recruitment and retention of volunteers.
Valerie came to National Headquarters in 2011 as Senior Associate for Disaster Mental Health. In 2013, she was promoted to Manager for Disaster Health Services and Disaster Mental Health. In that position, she shepherded the creation of the Disaster Spiritual Care Function and oversaw the health and mental health programs, ensuring that the spiritual care, health and mental health services offered by the American Red Cross utilize