HOW WE HELP
We provide a safe, supportive and comforting environment for children, youth and families who are dealing with grief and loss.
ASHLEY’s Friends was created on the fact that grief is a natural response to death for everyone. People grieve at their own pace and in their own way. We also believe a support group is a safe way for children and families to grieve and grow.
Each week, our goal is to simply provide a nurturing environment where children can identify, express, and cope with feelings and issues related to the loss of their loved one. We do this through art, story telling, writing, role playing, and music. Each meeting concludes with a ceremony to help children and teens memorialize their loved one.
Families are encouraged to participate in the program as long as they desire. Most remain involved on a weekly basis for at least 12 months, and then stay in contact for support once they formally decide to leave the program.
Healing takes many different forms. Our goal is to simply facilitate healing with the children their families and their community.
• We’ve consulted with teachers to help improve children’s ability to be supported and successful in school
• Parents have told us we have given a voice to their children’s pain
• We’ve helped parents find the words to tell their children the circumstances of a loved ones death
• Parents have said their child’s school work has improved and relationships with peers have improved
• Their child’s ability to attend/focus has improved, their anger has decreased, nightmares have decreased and sleeping and eating have improved
• Parents often say that they are so grateful to our program because their children either refuse to talk at home, or are unable to talk about their grief at home. They are grateful the children have a place to share among their peers
• The children make friends with one another and get together outside of group.
These families have formed friendships that stretch beyond the walls of our building. Common ground has helped them provide additional support and encouragement for each other long after they’ve left the program. This is perhaps, one of our biggest accomplishments.