OKC Nonprofit Will Offer New Program To Help Inmates Cope With Grief


Wednesday, October 19th 2022, 4:59 pm



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Calm Waters, a nonprofit that offers grief counseling, will soon offer a brand-new program for inmates at the Oklahoma County Detention Center.

Nonprofit officials said the program is a first in Oklahoma.  

Calm Waters executive director Erin Engelke said spending time in the detention center and losing the life you had outside of those walls can be a heavy weight to bear.

"Grief literally lives in that building," Engelke said.

Calm Waters’ aim is to help inmates navigate through their heartache.

"For the men and women who have been incarcerated, they are struggling every single day," said Engelke.  

Through nine-week counseling programs, inmates will soon be able to talk through their trauma.

"For the detainees to identify what they are feeling and to be able to develop healthy coping skills now will only benefit them when they leave the detention center," said Engelke.

The support groups will be facilitated by individuals who were previously incarcerated.

"We will navigate a lot of difficult topics in these support things like grief, change, guilt shame and all of the feelings associated when you experience grief and loss," said Engelke.

By working through their grief, inmates will be more equipped to create a positive path forward.

"If they could just have a safe space to be able to talk about those emotions, those feelings, it would give them hope to be able to leave the detention center," said Engelke.

If you’d like to know more about Calm Waters, click here.

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