Bereavement, Grief, Counseling

Suncoast Hospice Bereavement Counselor Dawn Melvin, LCSW

Congratulations to our July Impact Award winner, Dawn Melvin, LCSW, a bereavement counselor for Suncoast Hospice.

Melvin joined Suncoast Hospice in 2004. She helps bring hope and healing for families whose loved ones died in our care through individual counseling and support groups. Her role also includes providing education and support for volunteers and staff as well as helping remember and honor people’s loved ones at our community memorial services.

“Through the years I have been honored to sit with people in the midst of their heavy sadness and listen to their stories. One of the greatest joys as a grief counselor is to initially sit with an individual dealing with gut-wrenching grief and then to bear witness to his or her transformation. One of the greatest rewards as a grief counselor is to be a guide, a teacher and an encourager helping individuals to not only learn how to live again but to CHOOSE to live again. I am been blessed, privileged and grateful,” Melvin shared.

The monthly Impact Award recognizes and celebrates staff for their positive impact on others, demonstration of our values and above-and-beyond service.

Here are words from Melvin’s nomination:

“Dawn has helped establish a high standard for the support that Suncoast Hospice provides for survivors of patients that we serve.

She believes in the whole person, and addresses spiritual pain as well as emotional and psychosocial aspects.

We have Dawn to thank for many of the initiatives started in our program. Dawn has also reached beyond her comfort zone to provide bereavement counseling for groups and individuals not within her usual scope of care, such as counseling for children and teens.

When not counseling clients (her full-time job), she takes time out to ring the bell or serenade survivors with her beautiful voice at our community memorial services. She displays a calm and reassuring presence to others.

For several years, Dawn has led the Next Steps group for survivors who have completed a bereavement group. This gathering provides another level for helping the bereaved to process their healing with others.

Our department has been blessed to have a strong group of volunteers who make calls each month to survivors. Dawn has been instrumental in recruiting, training, providing ongoing educational materials and working to retain the volunteers through regular support breakfasts.

She has demonstrated amazing clinical skills and taught a great deal to her clients as well as volunteers. Dawn has supported staff through difficult times in their lives, and even shared her husband’s clothes with me after I lost everything in a house fire.”

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