The death of a someone you love can be overwhelming for anyone, but it can be especially difficult for children and teens who may not have the resources to cope. The Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County and the VNA Phoenix Center have joined forces with the National Alliance for Grieving Children and organizations around the country to help make the public more aware of the needs of grieving children on Thursday, November 21 in observing Children’s Grief Awareness Day.
“Children's Grief Awareness Day is an opportunity for all of us to wear blue and help raise awareness of the impact of the death of a loved one on the life of a child and the resources available in our community to help that child,” says Michele Murphy Wise, supervisor of the VNA Phoenix Center. “The death of a loved one is such a difficult time for families, usually with a great deal of emotional and financial upheaval. Parents and other family members are dealing with their own grief and sometimes aren’t able to be emotionally present for the children. Or, they simply just don’t know how to help.”
The VNA Phoenix Center, a program of the Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County, is located at 501 Marquette Street in Valparaiso. The center provides age appropriate volunteer led 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 program is offered free of charge and is open to any family in the community dealing with a grieving child. 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. Since opening in November 2010, the VNA Phoenix Center has provided grief support for over 100 children and their families.
The VNA and the VNA Phoenix Center invite you to wear blue on November 21st to help raise awareness in our community about support for grieving children. For more information about Children’s Grief Awareness Day, visit www.childrengrieve.org. To learn more about the VNA and the VNA Phoenix Center, visit the VNA website at www.VNAportercounty.org.