In May, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation hosted a Survivor Wellness Conference in Portland, Oregon. The conference opened with a keynote by Donna Schuurman, Executive Director emeritus of the Dougy Center, one of the first grief centers for children in the U.S. Donna’s topic was “10 Things to Know About Successful Self-Care,” and she did a masterful job of weaving stories from decades of work with grieving people into her talk. This conference focused on self-care during grief and included sessions about physical, mental, and emotional health.
Participants shared time together in a peaceful riverfront location, enjoying opportunities for exercise, shared meals, and informal conversations. Many chose to extend their stay in order to explore the Portland area or to venture further along the West Coast. Our hope is that each participant left with tools to help them take action on their own behalf in order to create a better quality of life.