3 Teen Suicides Rock Area High Schools Denver shooting : 3 people — including 2 children — found dead in home in possible murder-suicide Denver teen shot, killed, family looks for answers Man charged in stabbing death of 14-year-old girl
Depression, suicidal ideation Anger, aggression Disengagement from school, family, and Club Risky behaviors Amplifies other issues
Nonprofit, community-based bereavement center founded in 2001 in memory of Judith Ann Griese Vision: A community in which no child has to feel alone in grief Mission: To help children and families who are grieving the death of a loved one find hope and healing within themselves Provide free, comprehensive grief care to approximately 1,000 individuals annually
Assessment of Individualized Needs Pathfinders: 10-Week Bereavement Groups Connections: Continuous Grief Support Groups Specialized Groups (Spanish-Speaking, Suicide) Individual and Family Counseling & Therapy Care Coordination and Referrals for Additional Resources and Services Education, Training and Outreach
Promote resilience, growth and healthy adjustment to loss Prevent complications of unaddressed grief and trauma associated with the death
Structured yet flexible, parallel curriculum with separate developmentally-appropriate groups for each family member Psychoeducation about grief and trauma Coping skills Caregiving skills for adults Group and individual activities and discussions for exploring grief and memorializing Sharing and support among peers…and FUN!
We will continue to exceed capacity within the four walls of Judi’s House It is estimated that over 30,000 youth in the Denver Metro area will experience the death of a parent or sibling before the age of 18 (Judi’s House, 2013) As income decreases, the likelihood of parental bereavement as a child increases substantially (www.childhealthdata.org)
Clubs easily accessible by youth in “neighborhoods where they are needed most”—youth at increased risk of loss, trauma, and lack of resources & support Safe, trusted, comfortable environment— home away from home Caring adult role models
Encouragement of growth and potential, and helping youth “make the most of their lives” Positive, productive outlets After school and evening hours Programs promoting health & life skills Consistency, routines, clear expectations FUN! (sports, games, art, etc.)
Education and training of BGC Metro Denver staff on childhood grief and trauma Community dinners/workshops at Club to raise awareness of needs of grieving youth and available services Pathfinders groups provided onsite at Club for children, teens & caregivers Ongoing consultation and referrals
Structure AND Flexibility are Key: Adapt program to fit within culture of Club, and co-create a safe space and structure for sharing For most, first experience with counseling or support group--take time to establish rapport, trust and comfort Prepare to support youth and families who have experienced multiple traumas, losses (including deportation, incarceration), stressors, chaos and violence in their homes and community
Carefully assess experiences and needs to ensure safe and appropriate care Assess and address red flags (e.g., suicidality) Be aware of community and gang-related issues Promote development of coping skills that can be applied more generally to trauma, loss, & adversity Involve parents/caregivers as much as possible Bring FOOD…and be sure to make time for FUN!
Evaluate challenges and rewards and refine partnership Explore partnering with schools in community to identify youth not yet enrolled in BGC to participate in after-school or evening groups in the Clubs Gather more thorough intake, post- and follow-up data to evaluate and measure impact of programs Evaluate impact of educational workshops vs. support groups for parents/caregivers of grieving youth