Benefis Peace Hospice Children's Bereavement Program
The Benefis Peace Hospice Children’s Bereavement Program is available for grieving families who have questions or concerns about children’s grief issues. Through the program, families are educated and supported as they help their child process death and grief. The program offers the following free services:
- Children’s Support Group – The Children’s Support Group, for children ages 5 through 12, is a series of evening sessions that usually run October through March. Here kids connect with others who are also experiencing loss. They support each other and participate in a number of grief activities.
- Camp Francis – A unique camp experience for grieving kids ages 6 to 12. The five-day camp is held the third week in June in the mountains near Monarch, MT. Campers learn to express their thoughts and feelings about their loss through music, art, games and crafts, with having fun as the top priority. (Read story.)
- T.A.G. (Talking About Grief) – This teen grief support group is available in the Great Falls public high schools in conjunction with the CARE program. The student may come to the T.A.G. group because of the death of a parent, sibling, relative, neighbor, teacher or friend. The cause of death may be due to disease, an accident or suicide. Teens benefit from learning about reactions to grief, teaching others about their grief, and getting support from peers.
- Teen Retreat – The Teen Retreat, offered each October, provides teens ages 13 to 18 a chance to connect with peers who have experienced a loss. Activities led by trained facilitators help teens understand and find ways to cope with grief in daily life. (Read story.)
- Peace Hospice Family Bereavement Outreach Program – This new program, funded through a grant from New York Life, will expand the outreach to grieving teens in the five rural counties served by Peace Hospice. It will make it possible to train a core group of teens who will work with other teens through peer mentoring; provide educational workshops and training for teachers, counselors and anyone interested in learning how to help grieving teens; and get volunteers working with teens in schools and facilitate a caregiver group in each of the five counties so services are available outside of Great Falls.
- Children’s Bereavement Christmas Party – Offered to all children and their families who’ve been involved in any of the Children’s Bereavement Program services. Families participate in art and music activities and the evening ends with a small memorial service for their loved one.
This program is possible thanks to support from Benefis Health System and thoughtful donors and grantors who give through Benefis Health System Foundation. To support these important services, either through making a donation or purchasing wish list items, please call the Benefis Foundation at (406) 455-5840 or click the “Donate Now” button at the top of the page and make a donation through our secure website.
If you'd like to register your child for any of the services or if you would like information about volunteering to help, please call Benefis Peace Hospice at (406) 455-3040 or send an email to Children's Bereavement Program Coordinator Leslie Murphy at firstname.lastname@example.org.