Children and Youth Support
Whether coping with a life threatening illness of their own or of someone very close to them, children and teens feel the associated pain and suffering.
By offering support, we hope that they will learn about anticipatory grief and loss and develop skills to cope in a healthy way both now and in the future.
Children and teen 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 immediate family or extended family members. Services may include one-to-one counselling, home or school visits, support groups, and expressive arts. The Centre for Supportive Care offers information to parents, caregivers or professionals on how to help children cope with (anticipatory) loss and a library with a selection of age-appropriate books on these topics.
Sometimes finding the words to express our feelings can be difficult. 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 as a way to process grief through actions, fun, and creativity. 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 arts 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 from the reduction of stress, the increase in self-awareness and insight, and enjoyment resulting from engagement in the life-affirming pleasures of making art.
The Centre for Supportive Care has a special art/play therapy room containing art and craft supplies, puppets, soft toys, books, and a sand tray with miniatures for use when working with a counsellor.
Delta Hospice Society
This video features our Blue Skies children and teens programs which include children’s grief support groups, individual support of children and teens with a Clinical Counsellor, and Music Therapy for children and teens who have experienced or are anticipating the death of a loved one.