Published On: Mon, Sep 10th, 2018

VITAS Healthcare Offers Children’s Grief Support for South Florida

Boca Raton, FL – The Children’s Bereavement Center (CBC), in partnership with VITAS® Healthcare, offers ongoing grief support groups at 10 locations throughout South Florida. Beginning September 17, CBC will host free weekly grief support for Parkland-area children, teens, families, adults and teachers/educational professionals.

Since 2012, VITAS, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, has mobilized personnel, resources and ongoing support for some of the nation’s most horrific mass shootings, including Sandy Hook Elemntary School in Newton, The Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

In preparation, VITAS bereavement specialists, chaplains, social workers, music therapists, art therapists and other staff members have undergone special training to address crisis situations and “trauma-informed grief.”

“Trauma-informed work means having an understanding of what people go through when they’ve experienced something like Parkland or a homicide,” says Thomas Dalton, bereavement specialist at VITAS in Broward County (where the Parkland shooting occurred) and Broward site coordinator for CBC.

“Traumatic grief is very individualized and depends on each person’s response to the situation. We try to understand the trajectory of their grief and provide special support, because what they’ve experienced might not be easily accommodated in a regular support group. We also take care to not re-traumatize people or have them re-experience their symptoms by how we communicate or talk about their grief. If participants in the groups need additional support, we may refer them out for individual counseling.”

For locations and more information regarding these support groups, contact CBC program manager Leah Ackerman at 888.988.5438. Additional grief and bereavement resources can be found at VITAS.com.

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