Clinical Mental Health Counselor Antje Rath will be one of the practitioners speaking at a discussion on stress and grief on Thursday, Dec. 8, at Moab Regional Hospital. [Courtesy photo]

If you know someone who has lost a loved one and may be feeling blue this holiday season, don’t avoid the lost person’s name.

Chances are your friend or family member is constantly thinking about that individual anyway.

“Allow people to talk about that person, and then, just listen,” said Antje Rath, a clinical mental health counselor at Moab Regional Hospital.

Rath and psychologist James Ferro, a 20-year member of the Utah State Critical Incident Stress Management team, will lead a two-part discussion on stress and grief on Thursday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Moab Regional Hospital, 450 Williams Way. The discussion is free and open to the public.

Rath has been a grief counselor for children, teens and adults for nearly 15 years. She leads a grief support group in Moab twice a month, every first and third Wednesday, at 6 p.m. at Grand County Library, 257 E. Center St. The group is open and attendance is free.

After the first of the year, Rath said she plans to start up an additional, new support group for people dealing with chronic pain.

Since the Nov. 8 election, Rath said she has seen an increase in people feeling “upset, hopeless, scared and depressed.” The Dec. 8 presentation, however, will focus on death and grief, she said.

“People feel grief more during the holidays – particularly when everybody is supposed to be happy,” Rath said.

Rath recommends that people at holiday gatherings not shy away from mentioning the name of a deceased loved one, but rather mention the person who has died, and “take a few minutes to cry, and then move on.”

Ferro will talk about ways to minimize the negative effects of stress, while giving insights into the nature of stress. Ferro has provided counseling and psychotherapy services in Moab since the 1980s.

Moonflower Community Cooperative and Moab Regional Hospital are sponsors of the event.

Both Rath and Ferro are listed in the natural food cooperative’s “Integrated Health Care Practitioner’s Guide,” which is available at the store, 39 E. 100 North. The co-op has organized several health-related presentations over the past year, said community outreach coordinator Cactus Moloney.

Moonflower Cooperative is a nonprofit owned by more than 500 community members, with a mission of offering socially responsible food and goods, plus education to promote a healthy and sustainable community, Moloney said.

On Tuesday, Dec. 13, 5 percent of all sales at the store will go to Grand County Hospice, which is located in the hospital.

Moonflower has worked with the hospital previously on other events, such as teaching eighth-graders about making healthy food choices. Additionally, the co-op donated soups and salads for Grand County Hospice’s “Death over Dinner” event, Moloney said.

While anyone can shop at Moonflower, its members receive dividends back from purchases, at the end of the year, as well as quarterly 10 percent discounts, and in-store sales.

Moonflower is the only natural foods co-op in Utah, Moloney said. People can become owners by paying a one-time fee of $100 – which shoppers can earn back with one big expenditure, she said.

“It’s definitely worth it,” she added.

Hospital hosts free Dec. 8 discussion about stress, grief

For more information about the grief or chronic pain support groups, contact Rath at 435-719-5563.

What: Dealing with Stress to Help Heal Grief Discussion

When: Thursday, Dec. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Where: Moab Regional Hospital, Education Room #2, 450 Williams Way

Information: 435-719-3683; 435-719-5563