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Lost and Found partners with MSU to offer in-person grief support group for students

The bear statue in front of Plaster Student Union at Missouri State University.
Michele Skalicky
The bear statue in front of Plaster Student Union at Missouri State University.

Grief in Common meets twice a month on the MSU campus.

A new support group at Missouri State University offers help for college students who have recently lost a loved one.

Grief in Common is hosted by Lost and Found Grief Center and the MSU Counseling Center.

Gen Nelson, program director for Lost and Found, said this is their first off-site program. Nelson said it’s often difficult for college students to get to the grief center's building, 1555 S. Glenstone, where they offer support groups for young adults.

"We'll get to do the same types of group activities, therapeutic grief support for those students," she said, "that we would typically do here on the campus of Lost and Found, but we get to bring it to Missouri State for all Missouri State students."

Nelson knows there’s a need for a group like Grief in Common on college campuses. She said statistics show that 10 percent of college students will have experienced the death of a parent or sibling by the time they arrive on campus.

"And when you think about the population of students at Missouri State, that's a large number of people that are potentially affected by a close death in the family," said Nelson, "and so we want to make sure that we offer support and services to those students."

College students experiencing grief may experience emotional difficulties and an inability to focus, which could lead to lower grades and an increased risk of dropping out of school, according to a study by Central Washington University.

Grief in Common meets twice a month from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Plaster Student Union.

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.