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Peer Support Programs

Olivia's House offers no-cost peer support education programs designed to support a child, teen or young adult through the death of a loved one. A child often feels as though they are the only one experiencing the death of a loved one, and when they come to a peer support educational program at Olivia's House, they soon learn they are not alone! Peer support is powerful and has been studied and embraced as an effective model of support for grief.

The peer support educational model we use is closed-ended. This means that a set group of people, interviewed and registered by our Bereavement Specialist, begin the program together and end the program together. Families are offered the option of entering a program, but must commit to attending each week's meeting of the eight-week program.

Because of the safe feelings associated with the closed-ended model, children open up and share their grief with their new friends. Parents meet as a group while the children are meeting, to learn how to converse with them and to support them. They are instructed about developmental tasks of all ages and how to appropriately model grief for their children.

The peer support educational programs at Olivia's House are not meant to replace specialized therapy for children who have been traumatized by their loss or who have special needs. In this case, the Program Director will refer to our one-on-one adjunctive professionals.