Susquehanna Health Home Care & Hospice's grief support group Heartworks, offers age-appropriate grief support groups for children, teens and their families for free.
The group for children ages 4-18 and their parents or guardians meets the second and fourth Tuesday of each month from September through May starting at 6 p.m., with open registration throughout the year.
The first group session will be Sept. 9.
The grief support group is for those who have experienced the death of a loved one, whether recent or several years ago.
Specially trained facilitators at Heartworks help children and teens express their thoughts and feelings through art, play, music, games and discussion, while adult family members meet separately to explore their own grief and learn ways to help their children.
Established in 2009, Heartworks was developed under the leadership of Hospice Medical Director Dr. Alexander Nesbitt based on a perceived need for a program to offer help to children in northcentral Pennsylvania area who experienced the loss of a loved one.
"In our hurried society, we often don't allow time for the feelings we have when a loved one dies, for making the changes their absence brings, and for simply remembering," said Linda Bryant, Heartworks coordinator. "Our groups offer a safe and caring place to regularly work through each of those tasks with the support of others who understand as they are going through similar losses."
"My life got easier after coming to Heartworks. You instantly have a bond with other kids there," said a teenage group member. "You know what they are going through and they know what you are going through. You can't get that anywhere else."
Pre-registration is required. For more information or to register for the program, call Cherrie Serra or Linda Bryant at 570-320-7691 or 888-499-3177.