The center, located at 501 Marquette Street in Valparaiso, provides age appropriate support groups and activities such as art and music therapy, writings, recreation and memory projects to help children, teens and young adults from kindergarten to college age learn to cope with their grief over the loss of a loved one. The children’s groups meet bi-weekly over an extended period of time, allowing the children to guide their own healing process.
The program is offered free of charge and is open to any family in the community dealing with a grieving child. A parent, guardian, or other adult family member must accompany children ages 18 and younger. “Often, parents and other family members are dealing with their own grief and sometimes aren’t able to be emotionally present for their young ones. Or, they simply just don’t know how to help,” says VNA Phoenix Center supervisor Michele Murphy-Wise, MA. Group support and networking opportunities are offered for the adults while children participate in activities, allowing them to also share their feelings, emotions and ideas with others who are dealing with similar issues.
A family orientation for the fall session is set for Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. Because space is limited, families interested in the program should RSVP for the orientation to Murphy-Wise at 219-462-5195.