The MISS Foundation, now in its 21st year, with 254 active providers and volunteers in nearly every state in the U.S. and 11 countries around the world, has served hundreds of thousands of bereaved families in their darkest hours. We provide counseling, advocacy, research, education, and support (C.A.R.E.S.) to grieving families in their communities. However, much more specialized care is necessary to help these families cope with the overwhelming experience of loss. The Selah House Respite Center and Carefarm, our capstone project, will be the first green carefarm in the United States and will serve traumatized and bereaved families from all over the world. All our providers who help families at the Selah House will receive specialized training in traumatic grief.
Selah House, led by MISS Foundation Founder Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, will offer a dramatically different approach to traumatic grief than traditional Western treatment facilities which often focus on diagnosing and medicating people who are deeply grieving. Our approach is simple, safe and focuses on three restorative areas of support:
- Carefarming which will include offerings such as gardening and therapeutic horticulture, animal therapy, rescue animal caregiving, green recreation, landscape maintenance, and ecotherapy;
- Contemplative practices which include meditation/centering prayer, mindfulness based support groups, bibliotherapy, grounding, and ritual;
- Physical well-being which includes yoga, massage, physical activity, acupuncture, and psychoeducation around sleep hygiene, healthy eating, stress resilience, and traumatic grief counseling.
Despite the high incidence of traumatic grief in communities around the world, there is no place like this anywhere. Bereaved and traumatized families need a safe place to go in crisis. A place where their grief is honored and held. A place where they are safe to feel, to remember, and to connect to a community. Until now, no such place has existed. We are about to change that.