annual report

Grief Support for Children, Teens and Families

Gerard’s House is a safe place for grief support groups serving children, teens and families, where healing happens through acceptance and peer support.

Our services are offered free to any family with children ages 3-21 who have experienced the death of a close family member or friend.

Grief Support Services include:

Nuestra Jornada (Our Journey) * + weekly immigrant support groups for Latino immigrant students in Santa Fe schools who are grieving the death of—or separation from—a parent or family member.

Grief Connections + weekly peer bereavement support groups at Gerard’s House and in Santa Fe schools for children and youth who have experienced the death of a parent or other loved one. Concurrent support is also provided at Gerard’s House for parents and adult family members.

Adult Grief Support Group + offered year-round for all adults grieving the death of a loved one.

Stepping Stones * + mobile grief support unit goes to the homes of children, teens and families who are coping with a life-threatening illness.

Crisis Response services * + responds when a youth suicide or other death affects students.

Suicide-prevention  * + Addressing youth attempted suicide and those who have contemplated suicide, this weekly peer support group is a collaboration between Gerard’s House, Semicolon group and the Sky Center/New Mexico Suicide Intervention Project.

Grief support groups for homeless youth *provided on-site at two Youth Shelters and Family Services locations for those experiencing youth homelessness, including young adults experiencing homelessness.

The Young Parents/Teen Mom Nuestra Jornada Group + Programs to help Latino pregnant teens and Latino teen parents, as well as their children. Gerard’s House meets their basic needs and helps young parents connect with each other, share their stories and receive nurturing, support and important resources.

* Mobile, + bilingual


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 support 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 thousands 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.

Join a Group Now

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 has developed a program of Spanish language peer support for these children.

Camp Rainbow—Our Annual Grief Camp for Ages 8-14

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. Every Summer – Ages 8-14

Rainbow Days—Peer Groups and Family Dinners for Ages 3-14

In June, July and August, half days of youth 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 grief support groups for parents 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.