Children, Teens and Families
Gerard’s House is a safe place for grieving children, teens and families, where healing happens through acceptance and peer support.
Our services are offered free to any family with one or more children, ages 3-21, who have experienced the death of a close family member or friend.
Facilitated Peer Grief Support Groups for Ages 3-21
A peer grief support group includes six to twelve children, teens or young adults who participate together in a range of activities, including storytelling, art and crafts, drama, music, games, free play, checking in, group discussion and snacks.
All group members—regardless of their individual feelings, behaviors or circumstances—are coping with the same change in their lives. Someone close to them has died. Knowing that others your age are like you and that they have similar feelings and thoughts provides comfort and consolation that cannot be found anywhere else. No explanations are necessary; everyone, in their own way, is experiencing the same loss. This is the underlying bond in a “peer” grief group.
Peer groups at Gerard’s House are facilitated by vetted, highly trained and committed volunteers, including retired and active teachers, counselors, therapists and social workers, doctors, Gerard’s House alumni, and others, who together donate thousand of unpaid hours every year.
Groups meet once a week—after school or in the evening—in winter, spring and fall units of eight weeks each.
Any child who has experienced the death of a close family member or friend is welcome at Gerard’s House. Groups and other services are always free.
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Living with Illness Support for Ages 3-21
Children and teens living with seriously ill family members are welcome at Gerard’s House, where they receive individual counseling and participate in activities designed just for them. Adult family members are also welcome.
Individual Counseling for Spanish-speaking Children and Families (En Español)
Sometimes children are unable to benefit from peer group support because they do not yet speak English fluently. Gerard’s House is has developed a program of peer support for these children.
Camp Rainbow—Our Annual Grief Camp for Ages 8-14
Every Summer in July– Ages 8-14 – non-residential
Two or more days of peer grief support and amazing fun activities, outdoors at Hyde Park, indoors at Gerard’s House. New and returning children are welcome.
Rainbow Days—Peer Groups and Family Dinners for Ages 3-14
In June, July and August, half days of peer grief support at Gerard’s House, followed by a dinner for the whole family. New and returning children are welcome. Call 505-424-1800 for details.
Parenting in Grief
At Gerard’s House we are sensitive to the multiple difficulties that parents and caregivers experience when they are grieving the death of someone dear. For this reason, we offer parenting-in-grief support groups that run concurrently with our peer grief support groups for children. Participation is optional. Groups are offered on demand for parents and caregivers with children enrolled in peer groups.
Call 505-424-1800 to learn more or ask for information when you come for your family orientation.