Through a peer-led grief group, Peer Healing focuses on the importance of providing grieving teens a community. The curriculum’s main goal is two-fold: to assist bereaved teens in building communication skills and to establish a supportive, understanding space for them to address and process their grief. Peer Healing was adapted and modernized when we realized there was a need for an effective resource for mourning teens - one that would be able to understand the unique position someone is in when they are both an adolescent and a person grieving the loss of a loved one.

We started implementing Peer Healing into focus-grief groups this past year. From this experience, we gathered useful - and positive - feedback from the participatory teens. Here is what some of them had to say after completing the ten sessions.

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"I think if you bundle [difficult emotions] all together, it can be really overwhelming, and it can just be like a lot all at once, but instead if you separate them you can deal with them separately."

- Anonymous pilot group member

“Peer healing has helped me to find a better way to communicate my grief. It has helped me to work through parts of my grief that I hadn’t interacted with in years.”

- Katarina Salisbury

“Being with other kids who ‘get you’ in a way no others can truly makes me feel like I’ve found my people where I don’t have to hide. I can be completely open about my feelings, and be validated for it.”

- Bella Phillips

“I think if you bundle [difficult emotions] all together, it can be really overwhelming, and it can just be like a lot all at once, but instead if you separate them you can deal with them separately.”

Anonymous pilot group member

“Peer healing has helped me to find a better way to communicate my grief. It has helped me to work through parts of my grief that I hadn’t interacted with in years.”

Katarina Salisbury

“Being with other kids who ‘get you’ in a way no others can truly make me feel like I’ve found my people where I don’t have to hide. I can be completely open about my feelings, and be validated for it.”

Bella Phillips

Grief is a very personal experience, and we believe that for some, sharing that experience or expressing it in various ways can be soothing. Since we strive to build a supportive and welcoming environment for bereaved teens to communicate their needs and process their grief, we encourage teens to share their work - whether it be written, verbal, or sketched.
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