Whether coping with a life threatening illness of their own or of someone very close to them, or having experienced a death, children and teens feel the associated pain and suffering. By offering support, we hope that they will learn about grief and loss and develop skills to cope in a healthy way both now and in the future.
Children’s and Teen’s support services provide counselling specialists to meet their unique needs. Counselling services focus on:
- Dealing with feelings of uncertainty about death
- Appropriate ways of expressing their feelings
- Reinforcement of positive emotions
- Sharing special memories
Children and teen services often involve family or extended family members. Services may encompass home or school visits, support groups, respite activities, phone contacts, literature, and workshops. The Centre for Supportive Care library has a selection of age-appropriate books on grief and loss, as well as information on how to help children cope with loss.
The Expressive Arts Therapy Program uses different forms of art under the guidance of a counsellor in a safe and creative setting. This is an effective program for children, teens and adults who may not have the words to fully express their pain. Art therapy is a natural way for children to express themselves and is extremely helpful for children who find it difficult to talk about a family illness or loss.
Expressive art therapists help in the process of healing by bridging the world of inner feelings, thoughts, and emotions. It is believed that the creative process involved in artistic self-expression helps people enhance their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Healing may occur with the reduction of stress, increase in self-awareness and insight, and the enjoyment resulting from engagement in the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
A special art/play therapy room has art and craft supplies, puppets, soft toys, books, and sand tray with miniatures for use when working with a counsellor.