Collective Grief Experience of COVID: Three Years In


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Program Description

The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented challenges and caused significant grief and loss impacting individuals around the world. In the United States, over one million people have died from COVID-19 (CDC, 2022), resulting in significant grief for surviving loved ones, described by Petry et al. (2021) as “the epidemic within the epidemic”. Restrictions on social interaction and fear of exposure to the virus also compromised families’ ability to mourn in traditional ways and engage in rituals such as funerals, wakes, and other gatherings where mourners often find support and comfort. Numerous losses in other areas during the past three years have significantly impact as well – time with loved ones, canceled events, in-person education, social activities, and many more.

This webinar will explore the impact of COVID-19 using a grief counseling lens. Participants will examine losses that occurred as a result the pandemic and the types of grief that have resulted. We will also explore how the pandemic has disproportionately impacted specific populations in the United States. Grief theory will be used to help conceptualize the myriad grief responses that people demonstrated in response to the pandemic and associated losses. Recommendations for addressing this collective grief experience will also be explored.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will understand the various types of grief and loss that were collectively experienced during the last three years.
  • Participants will be familiar with prominent grief theories and how they can be used to understand grief responses during COVID-19.
  • Participants will be familiar with how various populations may have been impacted by grief and loss during the pandemic.

Who Should Attend?

Healthcare professionals, students, and anyone interested in grief and loss and the impact of the pandemic. 


Jessica L. Sniatecki, PhD, CRC is an associate professor in the Addictions and Behavioral Health program and Chair of the Department of Healthcare Studies at SUNY Brockport. She holds her doctorate in Counselor Education from the University at Buffalo and has held national certification as a Rehabilitation Counselor since 2004. Dr. Sniatecki has clinical experience with individuals and groups in a variety of treatment settings. She served as president of the New York State Career Development Association (NYSCDA) from 2014 to 2016, past-president from 2016 to 2018, and currently serves as the vice president of membership.

Dr. Sniatecki’s research focuses on the college experience of students with disabilities, positive aspects of disability, and faculty knowledge and attitudes related to students with disabilities. She is also involved in numerous service activities across campus including the Committee on Accessibility (vice chair), the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Advisory Board, the Personal Safety Committee, the University Police Advisory Board, and the Student Conduct Board.


  • Bertuccio, R. F., & Runion, M. C. (2020). Considering grief in mental health outcomes of COVID-19. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy, 12(S1), S87–S89.
  • Centers for Disease Control (2022). COVID-19 Data Tracker. 
  • Kumar, R.M. The many faces of grief: A systematic literature review of grief during the COVID-19 pandemic. Illness, Crisis & Loss, 31(1) 100–119. 
  • Petry, S. E., Hughes, D., & Galanos, A. (2021). Grief: The epidemic within an epidemic. The American Journal of Hospice & Palliative Care, 38(4), 419–422.
  • Worden, J.W. (2018). Grief counseling and grief therapy: A handbook for the mental health practitioner (5th ed.). New York, NY: Springer Publishing.