Experiencing the loss of a loved one is hard — especially for teenagers — whose grief is often overlooked, says Katie Joosten.
“We know that teens’ schedules are busy with school, friends, after-school activities, jobs and family,” said the program manager at St. Joseph’s Hospice, where a new grief support group for teens is set to begin later this month.
“We really wanted to create a space and an opportunity for them to come together and reflect on their grief, and share that experience with people their own age.”
The free, eight-week group session, Teens and Grief, begins April 29 and runs through to June 24, Mondays from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Hospice.
It is open to anyone age 14 to 18 who has suffered the loss of a loved one.
“In the past, we’ve offered teen groups in the high schools when they’ve requested it, but there is a real need in this age group,” said Joosten.
The sessions include information on self-care techniques like meditation and mindfulness, coping strategies, and learning ways to commemorate loved ones through various mediums like art and music.
“I hope they learn that they’re not alone, and grief is a normal process,” she added. “It can be very helpful for teens to come together and know that others are experiencing the same emotions and reactions they are.”
An intake assessment is required prior to attendance. For more information, contact Kayla Slegers at 519-337-0537, ext.114, or email [email protected]