This past year our grief counselor, Janice “Crystal” Finnis, spent 157 hours of telephone and in-person group session counseling and had 291 counseling telephone calls. Crystal has been with the PAF for over 34 years doing counseling in Pet Loss Support for our clients across many hospitals. This is a major undertaking if you multiple her work numbers over 30 plus years of service. It takes a special person to cope with people in a very difficult time in life.
Janice has practiced as a Grief Counselor/Trauma Therapist and Educator for 42 years. She completed post graduate studies specializing in death and dying, bereavement and the grief process, as well as trauma and related post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD). Offered individual, family and group counseling as Mental Health Counselor at Illinois State University Student Services and at community social service organizations. Also, taught Family Life Education classes and workshops on grief and PTSD. Initiated the first Pet Loss Support Group in the State of Illinois and facilitated it.
In April,1987, She initiated the first Pet Loss Support Group in Florida at our Pinellas Animal Foundation (PAF). Made Public Service Announcements on radio and television regarding the Pet Loss Support Groups. Assisted in writing a grant to Juvenile Welfare Board for intergenerational program involving seniors and at-risk youth facilitated by companion animals. Taught classes at St. Petersburg Junior College on the Companion Animal Bond and on the Stages of Grief. Provided training for the SPCA staff and Disaster Animal Rescue Team (DART) on PTSD and the grief process.
Janice has continued to facilitate monthly Pet Loss Support Groups for the past 34 years offering grief support and education on stages of grief at the PAF and as an on-call Trauma Therapist at local hospitals that lack a psychiatric unit.
Please join me and the PAF BOD in applauding Janice for her many years of faithful service to our/your clients as she is a very special person in our community.