Conference on grieving to focus on supporting children through loss

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The Mourning Hope Grief Center is hosting an event to educate the community about loss on Thursday. Nebraska is one of the six states that are participating in the regional conference titled, “No Child Grieves Alone.”

According to Mourning Hope, one in 16 Nebraska kids will experience the death of a family member or friend before the age of 18.

These events are to help communities recover after social isolation and the loss of life during the global pandemic. Thursday’s event aims to give counselors, social workers, bereavement support professionals, and volunteers the tools that they need to support kids during grieving experiences.

Carly Runestad with the Mourning Hope Grief Center says this event will also explore ways for parents, teachers, school counselors, and anyone else working with children to support them as they process loss.

“It’s kind of our human nature for us to try and shield children from grief, but grief is really a natural human experience. It’s not a problem, we don’t need to try to fix it, it is just a universal healthy reaction to loss,” said Runestad.

Runestead adds that when kids have support, they can learn to integrate a death or loss experience and go on to live healthy engaged lives. When they don’t, they can suffer from some long-term consequences.

Just like some adults, every child experiences grief differently. Per Runestead, it’s not a one size fits all. Anyone with children in their lives can offer critical support by simply being there and listening with their heart.

The one-day event kicks off at 11:00 a.m. Thursday at Mourning Hope’s campus in Lincoln off of Folsom Street. The conference is free to attend, it includes lunch, and professionals can earn three Continuing Education credits for a fee. To learn more about the event, find resources, and to connect with support professionals, visit here.

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