New York State Funeral Directors Association

ALBANY, NY (February 13, 2018) -- As the nationwide opioid epidemic continues to shatter families in the U.S., the need for support groups to help survivors is growing.

To address this need, the NYS Tribute Foundation has developed an opportunity a training program for individuals to learn how to establish a support group dedicated to those bereaved by substance use deaths.

Two separate, two-day classes are scheduled for April and June of 2018. The first will be held from April 4 – 5 and the second will take place June 13 – 14.

Participants will strengthen their build awareness of the impact of overdose death and learn to conduct a support group for those bereaved by the painful loss of a loved one due to substance use.

Support group facilitation skills, self-awareness and self-care skills will also be studied.

This training is structured for funeral directors, clergy, mental health professionals and non-clinicians with support group experience.

The course is also appropriate for current support group facilitators who seek to strengthen their skills, stay up-to-date on the latest practices and explore issues experienced during support groups.

Those who have endured loss due to overdose are also encouraged welcome to attend this course if it has been at least two years since their loss.

Instruction will take place at the headquarters of the New York State Funeral Directors Association in Albany, NY.

Conducting the training sessions will be Franklin Cook, MA, CPC; Joanne L. Harpel, MPhil, JD; and John (Jack) Jordan, PhD.

Dress is casual. This is an active, participant-driven training and we want you to be comfortable.

This training has been approved by the NYS Department of Health, Bureau of Funeral Directing for 6 CEUs.

If you have any questions, please contact Kelly Deitz at kelly@nysfda.org or 518-452-8230.

Training Agenda:

  • Day 1: Noon – 8 p.m. | Lunch and dinner included
  • Day 2: 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. | Breakfast and lunch included

Location: 1 South Family Drive, Albany, NY 12205

CLICK HERE to register.


The NYS Tribute Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, was established in 2003 out of a desire to unite the knowledge and resources of funeral service professionals throughout New York State. The Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting education, outreach and research programs that advance the public's understanding of end-of-life issues. The Foundation uses its philanthropic resources to stimulate research, improve and support professional education, increase public outreach, and sponsor forums to foster policy dialogue on important end-of-life issues.

It’s too early to tell exactly how much damage Hurricane Harvey did to the funeral profession in southeast Texas, but funeral directors 1,700 miles away can rest assured they pitched in to help.

New York funeral professionals contributed $4,000 to a relief fund set up by the New York State Tribute Foundation – the charitable arm of the New York State Funeral Directors Association.

The Foundation itself added another $7,000 to the effort – putting a total of $11,000 towards the goal of helping funeral professionals recover from the disaster.

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New York State 
Tribute Foundation

1 South Family Drive
Albany, NY 12205
Phone: 518-452-8230
Fax: 518-452-8667
kelly@nysfda.org