Ele`s Place

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
• 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
– 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/
• 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
• 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
• Professionals are invited to call for information/
• www.elesplace.org

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