First Hour Grief Response opens new location in West End to make consultation more accessible

First Hour Grief Response hopes their new location in the West End will help serve the neglected communities.
Published: Mar. 25, 2023 at 11:46 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - With so many deadly shootings and so many of them in the west end, it’s important to remember each death sends shockwaves through their communities.

Dealing with grief alone is hard, so a non-profit is trying to make the grieving process a little easier.

Getting therapy or consultation has historically been seen as taboo in the black community and the frequent lack of resources in those communities doesn’t make it any easier.

First Hour Grief Response said they want to change that and make what they do more accessible, and more acceptable.

Saturday was the start of new beginnings. The non-profit’s open house gave those hurting from the sudden loss of loved ones a chance to heal.

A sentiment that Campbellsville University’s professor Dr. Renee Sartin knows all about.

“September 15, 2020 my son was killed. Multiple gun shots in his car,” Sartin said.

That day is one she said she’ll never forget and a grieving process she’s still working through.

Although she teaches death, dying and bereavement for a living, she still found herself needing some guidance of her own.

“It’s one thing listening to somebody else’s story, teaching students how to be a productive social worker when all of this homicide and all sorts of things are going on,” Dr. Sartin said. “But to come here and be invited here by all of these people to tell my story, it was I guess mind-blowing, you know?”

The common denominator for those at the open house Saturday, was loss.

Even if it was just for a moment, they were all able to take a second to smile and enjoy a space with people that know their pain.

“It makes me smile. To see these kids in here today, and all of those kids have been affected by loss, and to see them running around and jumping and playing, not even really knowing what we’re all here for but they’re here,” Dr. Sartin said. “And their parents know why we’re here.”

Because the services helped her so much, Dr. Sartin went from a client to a mentor at First Hour Greif Response.

Although she knows about the stigma with getting mental health help within the black community, she wants to dedicate her life to give others the small bit of relief she was able to feel.

“I want to be in the West End. I want to be where it’s neglected. And they need people that look like them, to work with them and let them know that it’s okay,” Dr. Sartin said. “And that’s what I want to do until the day that I die. I want to help people, I want to help people.”

First Hour Grief says they have their name for a reason, because they want you to come as soon as you need them.

The first consultation is free, so all you have to do is walk through the door. To learn more about them and their services you can visit their website.