A Center for Grieving Children & Teens Kathleen Cramer Managing Director, Ele’s Place Peggy Galimberti, LMSW, ACSW Program Director, Ele’s Place Ele’s Place • Established in 1991 in honor of Ele Stover, who died in 1989 at the age of 11 months. • Ele’s mom, Betsy Stover, looking for support for Ele’s siblings. • Mission – to create awareness and support for grieving children and their families. • Provide peer support groups for families with children 3-18, and young adults. • Parent/Caregiver Groups – – Peer support- individually and regarding parenting grieving children – Psychoeducation – facilitators provide info about grief and development as needed. – www.elesplace.org Ele’s Place Services in Ann Arbor • We run 17 free weekly support groups for grieving children ages 3- 18 (and YA) and their parent/ caregivers. • Kids groups are divided by age and developmental level; Adult groups by type of loss. • Our population is any child or teen who has experienced the death of someone significant to them. (Not loss due to divorce, deployment, etc.) • Support groups are on-going and are held on Monday and Tuesday evenings. (Wednesdays also starting in October). Ele’s Place Services, cont. • Ele’s Group (8 week school- based sessions). • Assistance and support with crisis situations in schools and other similar settings. • Consultation/ Collaboration: – Free resource and referral assistance on the phone. – Telephone consultation to individuals, families, and professionals re- grief related issues. – Staff are available to talk to your agency’s staff about children’s grief. Loss is common • 1 in 20 students will experience the death of a parent by the age of 18. • Before the age of 20, 9/10 people will experience the death of someone important in their lives. • It is likely that you work with grieving individuals and families every day, even if you are not aware of it. Basic Premises • Grief is a normal reaction to any loss (people, places and things). • Grief is unique to each person, and is a life-long process. • Grief does not progress in an orderly or predictable manner. • Every person has the capacity to heal, given an emotionally safe environment . Providing support to a grieving person • Be present and authentic • Listen more, talk less • Avoid trying to “cheer up” the person • Allow emotional expression • Show empathy • Stop harmful or dangerous behaviors Common Times People Re- experience Loss • Holidays- birthday, anniversary of the death, mother’s/ father’s day. • Transitions to a new grade or school. • Special events- concerts, sporting events, prom, awards ceremonies, graduations. • Grief triggers- songs, smells, places that remind them of their person. Grief reactions of concern • Continued problems at school or work • Difficulty participating in regular daily activities • Increased aggressiveness or ongoing angry outbursts • Excessive guilt • Depression • Social withdrawal and isolation • Self destructive behaviors • Suicidal thoughts Referral information • Call Ele’s Place at (734) 929- 6640. • Note- We are not a crisis center- our practice is to return family calls within one business day. • Families seeking support will need to contact us directly. • Professionals are invited to call for information/ consultation. • www.elesplace.org Questions?