- MassGeneral Bereavement Support Group
Open to patients and employees of the Mass General and Partners Healthcare community. This 8-week group is for people who have experienced the death of a loved one within the past 1½ years. The fee is covered by most insurances and Medicare. For any questions, to refer or to schedule a pre-group screening interview, please contact the group leaders, Ellen McCarthy LICSW or Carol McSheffrey LICSW.
- Contact: Ellen McCarthy or Carol McSheffrey at (617) 724-8021
- Association of Death Education & Counseling
The Association of Death Education & Counseling ’s website provides various online resources for coping with loss. The organization can make referrals to support groups throughout the United States.
- Contact: (847) 509-0403
- The Compassionate Friends
Organization dedicated to assisting families toward the positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and to provide information to help others be supportive. There are chapters located across the United States and internationally.
- Contact: (877) 969-0010
- Hospice Foundation of America
The Hospice Foundation offers support and education about death, illness, and the process of bereavement to those who are grieving personally or professionally. They offer referrals to grief support groups throughout the United States and also sponsor an annual "Living with Grief" teleconference series, a monthly bereavement newsletter, as well as other publications.
- Contact: (800) 854-3402
Children and Teens
- Club STAR: Sharing Together and Remembering
A group for ages 5-18 and their parents grieving the death of a parent or sibling. The group meets from 5:30 – 7:30 pm on the first Wednesday of the months of October-June at Mass General Hospital. Club STAR is organized by the MassGeneral Hospital for Children, Child Life services, and the Social Service Department. To register, please contact Hillary D’Amato, MS, CCLS.
- Contact: Hillary D’Amato at (617) 643-9276 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Camp Angel Wings
Camp Angel Wings was developed for children and teens (6-15 yo) who share similar experiences with grief. The camp provides them with an educational, therapeutic experience that is also enjoyable. The camp helps counter a sense of isolation that children can feel after losing a loved one. Participating in activities such as swimming, focused arts and crafts activities, and small discussion groups can help children and teens explore their many thoughts and feelings about grief. It also encourages them to try new or familiar activities that help them feel good about themselves.
- Contact: (508) 973-3426 or email@example.com
- Website: https://www.southcoast.org/visiting-nurse-association/our-services/camp-angel-wings
- Camp Erin Boston
Camp Erin® Boston is a FREE, weekend bereavement camp for youth who are grieving the death of a significant person in their lives. Children and teens ages 6 to 17 attend a weekend camp experience that combines grief education and emotional support with fun, traditional camp activities. Led by bereavement professionals and caring volunteers, campers are provided a safe environment to explore their grief, learn essential coping skills, and make friends with peers who are also grieving. Eluna partners with bereavement programs in local communities to help fund, develop, and grow Camp Erin nationwide. For more information, please visit elunanetwork.org. Beth Israel Lahey Health at Home - Watertown, is home to the HEARTplay children's bereavement program and is the Boston area Camp Erin provider.
- Contact: (508) 309-5107
- Website: https://camperinboston.org/
- Camp Kangaroo
Camp Kangaroo provides a camp experience and a supportive atmosphere for children (5-13 years) who have experienced the loss of loved one in the last two years. During their free weekend retreat, participants receive grief education and emotional support combined with fun camp activities that help them learn effective coping strategies. It gives an opportunity for children to find new meaning following the loss of their loved ones.
- Care Dimensions
With its scope of services and staff, Care Dimensions’ grief support program is the most comprehensive in Massachusetts. Licensed bereavement counselors offer support groups and workshops for anyone who has experienced a death. Care Dimensions also offers individual counseling to people grieving the death of a loved one who was on Care Dimensions hospice service. Care Dimensions helps families understand what they’ve been going through, identify resources and provide options for learning more about grief and feelings, individually and in groups. They also teach people how to support and comfort others who are grieving. Services include: individual consultation and referrals, workshops and support groups , bereavement resources , community education programs and remembrance and tribute programs. Care Dimensions’ children’s program provides specialized support for children and teens, including Camp Stepping Stones , their summer family retreat.
- Comfort Zone Camp
A Bereavement Camp for Children 7-17 who have lost a sibling, parent, or primary caregiver. Comfort Zone Camp programs are free of charge and include confidence building activities and age-based support groups that break the emotional isolation grief often brings. Comfort Zone’s programs are offered to children ages 7-17, and their families for the family programs, plus we offer young adult programs for 18-25 years of age. Held year-round across the country, our primary locations are California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, North Carolina and Virginia (HQ). We also partner with organizations to serve their local or specific communities through our Partnership and Community by Design Programs
- HEARTPLAY PROGRAM: Grief programs for children, teens, and young adults.
HEARTplay℠ is CareGroup Parmenter’s award-winning bereavement program for children, teens, and young adults who have experienced a death during their lifetime. Through conversation, music, movement, visual expression, writing, and storytelling, the participants share their feelings and experiences. This creative process invites new understanding about death and life and an opportunity for our participants to bond with others who are also experiencing a loss. HEARTplay groups are offered free of charge through the generosity of grants and donations. The groups are offered monthly or bi-monthly in Wayland, MA and Newton, MA. Registration is required.
- Contact: Jennifer Wiles at (508) 309-5107
- Website: http://heartplayprogram.org/contact
- The Carriage House, A Center for Grieving Children and Families - Seven Hills Foundation
The Carriage House is a grief support center for children ages 3 to 18 years old and their families. It is the only program in Central Massachusetts providing children and teens a space to grieve the death of a loved one surrounded by peers also experiencing feelings of grief and loss. The first step in joining a Carriage House support group is a telephone intake, during which basic information about the family is collected. Each family is then scheduled for an orientation session at The Carriage House to better understand the program and how it runs. Interested families will then complete final paperwork and be assigned to age-appropriate peer groups as space is available.
- Contact: (508)753-5425 x6430
- Website: https://www.sevenhills.org/programs/grief-support
- The Center for Hope & Healing
Every person’s grief experience is unique. If you are grieving the loss of someone, we can help you toward a path of hope and renewal. The grief support professionals at our Center for Hope & Healing offer compassionate and individualized support for grief at any stage. We offer an expansive grief support group program and offer community programs like Camp BraveHeart for kids as well as remembrance events . Our grief support services are offered throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
- Contact: 888-528-9077
- Website: https://www.hopehealthco.org/services/hospice-care/grief-support/
- The Children’s Room
The Children’s Room creates safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen or family has to grieve alone. The Children’s Room offers hope and healing to children and teens ages 3½ to 18 who have experienced the death of a parent or sibling. We also provide opportunities for parents and caregivers to meet with each other and talk about their own experiences parenting a grieving child, and to give and receive support around their own grief. Our services include ongoing peer support groups, educational series for parents, teen programming, monthly arts-based family nights, and adult consultations. All of these services are provided free of charge. We also provide referrals and resources to families who are looking for additional grief-related services.
- The Garden: A Center for Grieving Children and Teens
The Garden provides support to grieving young people and their families following the death of someone close, including parents, siblings, other family members or friends. We run programs and host discussion groups geared toward helping young people identify and share their feelings, and to help them begin the healing process. Parents and guardians meet separately for a chance to discuss their own concerns as the family unit navigates the grief journey. The Garden runs two programs annually at its Northampton location, an 8-week session in the fall and a 10-week session in the spring. In addition, our services are increasingly accessible through area schools via guidance offices and other programmatic or incident-specific counseling efforts within each school or district.
- Contact: Shelly Bathe Lenn at (413) 582-5312 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: https://www.cooleydickinson.org/programs-services/vna-hospice/the-garden/
- The Good Grief Program: Boston Medical Center
The Good Grief Program at Boston Medical Center has an illustrative history of providing exceptional care to children and families at a time when they may feel most vulnerable: after a child has experienced a significant loss. Although loss is an inevitable part of life; the experience of a significant loss such as death, divorce, or separation from a primary caregiver challenges us all, especially children. In the aftermath of loss, children need the support of caring adults to help them make sense of their loss, to support them in their grief, and to encourage their use of healthy and adaptive coping strategies. The Good Grief Program has acted as a steadying and supportive force for grieving families as they adapt and move forward in the wake of tragedy and crisis. The program accomplishes this work through a variety of efforts including offering developmentally informed, comprehensive consultation for caregivers supporting grieving children; providing grief-sensitive training and consultation for educators, schools, and other community agencies; and connecting individuals to grief resources and making appropriate referrals. The Good Grief Program seeks to equip families with the tools needed to process their grief experience and to promote lifelong resiliency. Spanish speaking counselors available.
- Rick’s Place
Rick’s Place supports children, teens (5-18 yrs.) and their families after a loved one has died. Through facilitated peer support groups, Rick’s Place offers grieving children and their caregivers a safe place to remember their loved ones, honor their memories, and avoid the sense of isolation that such a loss can produce. At Rick’s Place, we know that grief is a natural expression of love for the person who has died. We do not try to make grief go away, but rather, children and families support one another on the path to healing during one of life’s most difficult experiences. Together, families learn to live on while living without.
- Contact: (423) 279-2010
- Website: https://ricksplacema.org/grief-support-services/ /a>
- Wildflower Camp Foundation
The mission of the Wildflower Camp Foundation is to offer scholarship assistance for summer camp and enrichment programs to families in which a parent has died. It is our well-substantiated belief that this opportunity can provide a restorative experience both for the children and the surviving parent. Why camp, you ask? Because summers are the most challenging time for single parent families; while parents work, children need a safe, nurturing place to go. The experience of carefree summer days, the comfort of new friends and wonderful mentors, a break from the pain and stress at home is an invaluable experience for grieving children and a much needed respite for the surviving parent.
This is not a full list of resources available to you and your family. If you have questions about the resources listed or would like more information about bereavement support, please contact the Mass General Hospital Social Service Department at (617) 726-2643.