Grief Support Services

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Available Anywhere

GriefShare

https://www.griefshare.org/ 

GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. GriefShare seminars and support groups are led by people who understand what you are going through and want to help.

 

Sign up at https://www.griefshare.org/dailyemails to receive an encouraging email message every day for a year. 

The Grief Coach: Personalized Text Support

 

https://grief.coach/ 

Grief is hard. Getting good grief support doesn't have to be. We'll text you personalized support, all year long. If your friends want to help, but aren't sure how, we'll text them tips and reminders too (annual fee $100).


Sign up at https://grief.coach/jodylavoie/ to access Jody’s Grief Coach discount (total annual cost $89).

 

What’s Your Grief?

https://whatsyourgrief.com

Our mission is to promote grief education, exploration, and expression in both practical and creative ways. We provide resources related to understanding and coping with grief and loss, guidance on how to help a grieving friend or family member, online courses about grief and supporting someone who’s grieving, a podcast about grief and a supportive community.

 

Help Guide: Helping Someone Who’s Grieving

 

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/grief/helping-someone-who-is-grieving.htm 

 

Is someone you know grieving a loss? Learn what to say and how to comfort someone through bereavement, grief, and loss.

 

Camp Widow

 

https://campwidow.org 

 

Camp Widow is an innovative program which provides practical tools and research-informed resources for widowed people of any gender, race, religion, age, or sexual orientation. Weekend-long camps, Pop-Up (one-day) programs and Virtual camps are available.

National Alliance for Children’s Grief

 

https://childrengrieve.org

 

The NACG is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the needs of children and teens who are grieving a death and provides education and resources for anyone who supports them. We are a nationwide network comprised of professionals, institutions, and volunteers who promote best practices, educational programming, and critical resources to facilitate the mental, emotional and physical health of grieving children and their families. Programs include continuing education, peer networking, an Annual Symposium on Children's Grief and a National Database of Children's Bereavement Support Programs.

 

Childhood Bereavement Estimation Model

 

https://judishouse.org/research-tools/cbem/ 

 

The CBEM approximates rates of U.S. children and youth who will experience the death of a parent or sibling by the time they reach adulthood. This information helps communities evaluate the impacts of unaddressed grief, campaign for grief resources, and ultimately, contribute to improved outcomes for grieving families.

Chicagoland, IL:

 

Fox Valley Hands of Hope

https://www.fvhh.net/ 

Fox Valley Hands of Hope is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing expert support at no cost for children, families, and adults who are experiencing loss, or life-threatening illness. Sessions for youth ages 5-18 are conducted by a clinician specializing in children’s grief. Our group family programs can bring your loved ones together in the wake of a loss.

Willow House

 

https://willowhouse.org/ 

 

Willow House is a nonprofit, social service organization whose sole mission is to support children, families, schools and communities who are coping with grief and the death of a loved one. We offer grief support groups for children, teenagers, young adults, and adults, including a Survivors of Suicide Loss group and Expressive Arts program.

Local to La Grange, IL:

 

AMITA Health St. Thomas Hospice

 

https://www.amitahealth.org/find-a-service/hospice-care/patient-resources/grief-support-groups-and-bereavement-services

 

AMITA Health hospice services can help you find your way to emotional acceptance at your own speed with a wide variety of programs conveniently located across the greater Chicago area and designed for all ages and situations. Programs include support groups, culinary grief therapy, workshops for specific needs and groups, individual counseling, camps for both kids (5-12) and teens (13-18) and more. Our variety of grief outlets and services help us care for the living as much as the dying.

Laura Dampf, Bereavement Coordinator, Laura.Dampf@amitahealth.org.

 

 

Pillars

 

https://pillarscommunityhealth.org/services/behavioral-health-and-support-services/buddys-place-grief-support/

 

Our Buddy’s Place childhood bereavement program has offered family-based support groups to children and teens ages 4-18 and their families who are grieving the death of someone significant in their lives. We are committed to providing a safe, accepting, and supportive environment where each family can come and express their grief and connect with others in a group setting.  There is no charge to attend the programs offered by Buddy’s Place.

buddysplace@pchcares.org 

 

 

Legacy Guild

 

https://thelegacyguild.com/

 

We are a nonprofit men’s fellowship group that provides college scholarships and networking and mentoring support to students in our Lyons Township High School District 204 community who have lost a parent. 

 

 

Camps for Kids Experiencing Loss

 

Camp Kesem

 

https://www.kesem.org

 

At Kesem, we are committed to creating a world where every child who has a parent with a cancer diagnosis or has lost a parent to cancer is never alone. We support these children through and beyond their parent’s cancer with free, fun-filled creative programs and a lasting community.

 

 

Camp Sheilah

 

https://www.sadfund.org/camp-sheilah/

 

Camp Sheilah, an annual bereavement camp founded by the Sheilah A. Doyle Foundation in 2011, helps children ages 7-17 whose parent, legal guardian or sibling have been victims of homicide on their healing journey. Campers who attend the three-day event participate in fun activities like rock climbing and zip lining that challenge them to do things that they normally wouldn’t do, building resilience and helping them learn how to navigate difficult situations. They also take part in small group discussions and art therapy to help them remember and honor their family member, as well as assist them in working through the trauma they’ve experienced.

 

 

Camp Kita

 

https://www.campkita.com

 

Camp Kita is a summer bereavement camp located in Maine. Open to children ages 8-17 who are survivors of a loved one’s suicide. Camp Kita provides all of the quintessential experiences of a rural summer camp. In addition, the camp provides clinical professionals who lead small peer support sessions and offer 24/7 trauma support. The camp is tuition free for all campers.

 

 

TAPS Good Grief Camps

 

https://www.taps.org

 

The TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors) Good Grief Camp for children and teens provides support and comfort for children and teens facing the loss of a loved one in military service.  The safe and supportive atmosphere offers opportunities to learn coping skills, establish and identify support systems and create awareness that they are not alone in the grief of their loved one. Each Good Grief Camp participant has a military mentor who serves as a companion throughout the weekend, providing them with special one-on-one attention and showing them that the military has not forgotten about them. Other summer camps are offered across the US.

 

 

Hearts to Art

 

http://www.HeartstoArt.org 

 

This unique performing arts camp brings together young people between the ages of 7 and 14 who have experienced the death of a parent to encourage the healing power of creative play. Through the exploration and creation of dance, theatre, and music, Hearts to Art inspires communication and collaboration, fosters emotional growth, and provides friendship, compassion and community. Small group creative activities are facilitated by professional healing counselors, providing campers a safe time and place to express and share their feelings with peers. There are also healing counselors on site throughout the duration of camp.

 

 

Camp Erin

 

https://elunanetwork.org/camps-programs/camp-erin

 

Camp Erin is the largest national bereavement program for youth grieving the death of a significant person in their lives. Children and teens ages 6-17 attend a transformational weekend camp that combines traditional, fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support, free of charge for all families. Led by grief professionals and trained volunteers, Camp Erin provides a unique opportunity for youth to increase levels of hope, enhance self-esteem, and especially to learn that they are not alone. Camp Erin is offered in every Major League Baseball city as well as additional locations across the U.S. and Canada. 

 

 

Experience Camps

 

https://experiencecamps.org 

 

Experience Camps, founded in 2009 and held in several states, is a national, no-cost program for grieving children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver. Our one-week, overnight summer camp, year-round programs, and content help to reframe the experience of grief, and empower kids with the necessary coping skills to move forward with their lives. Through compassion, connection, and play, Experience Camps allows grieving children to embody a life full of hope and possibility.

 

 

Circle Camps

 

http://circlecamps.org

 

Circle Camps provides free summer camp for girls ​who have experienced the death of a parent. Through multi-year camp and leadership programming, ​Circle Camps prepare girls to become confident young women. Our Leaders in Training program offers four years of leadership-building, skill-building, and community engagement for grieving teens.

 

 

National Alliance for Children’s Grief

 

https://childrengrieve.org/find-support/camps

 

This site provides links to several other bereavement camps for kids and teens, organized by state.

Age-Appropriate Resources

 

Books for Children:

 

 

Books for Teens or Young Adults: 

 

Books for Adults: 

 

Journaling for Adults:

 

Books for Supporting Friends or Loved Ones: 

 

Documentaries, Webinars, Podcasts, Etc.

 

  • Free Documentary: Speaking Grief  is a public media initiative aimed at creating a more grief-aware society by validating the experience of grievers and helping to guide those who wish to support them.

  • Recognizing and Responding to Children’s Grief: In this webinar, experts discuss some of the ways children’s grief can manifest and provide guidance on how to respond and support grieving children. 

  • TED Talk: We Don’t “Move On” From Grief. We Move Forward With It by Nora McInerny, TED Women 2018  

  • The Widowed Parent Podcast: Jenny Lisk is a widow with young kids whose podcast helps widows navigate the challenging chaos of solo-parenting. 

  • The Dougy Center’s Grief Out Loud Podcast brings you a mix of personal stories, tips for supporting children, teens and yourself, and interviews with professionals.

  • What’s Your Grief Podcast—otherwise known as ‘gabbing about grief,’ ‘chatting about coping,’ and ‘gossiping with the grief gals.’ 

  • The Widow 180 Podcast: Jen Zwinck interviews people who have turned tragedy, loss and fear into strength and a new passion for life. 

  • The Filled with Gold Podcast: Melissa Pierce's guests talk about topics ranging from navigating finances to self-care to dating again to family dynamics, and every episode offers hope and encouragement.

  • The Widowed Mom Podcast: Krista St-Germain covers topics like dealing with toxic people, people-pleasing and forgiveness, offering concrete examples of how our thoughts affect our behaviors, why we can and should alter our perception, and what's possible in the aftermath of loss.

On Instagram/Facebook

Hot Young Widows Club

 

https://www.instagram.com/hotyoungwidowsclub

 

People

 

Rabbi Sherre Hirsch

 

https://www.sherrehirsch.com/ 

 

Specific Support Groups

 

ALS Chicago

 

http://webchicago.alsa.org/site/PageNavigator/CHI_8_SupportGroups.html

 

Persons living with ALS, their family members, friends and caregivers are welcome to attend the support groups. The groups are an opportunity to meet others, learn about new information and resources, and provide or receive support and encouragement. Guest speakers attend some of our support groups, and talk about their area of expertise as it relates to individuals living with ALS.