SERVICES

Support Groups

The Children’s Grief Center (CGC) of New Mexico provides age-appropriate peer support groups for children, teens, and young adults ages 5-25 AND their caregivers, who are grieving the death of a loved one at no charge. An alternative to counseling, peer support groups allow children to be with other children their own age who are also grieving. Children see that they are not alone, that what they are feeling is normal, and that there is hope. With the help of our bereavement facilitators, children participate in art, games and activities that help them to process their grief. They learn healthy coping techniques and special ways to remember their loved one. While children are in group, we have optional support groups for the guardians.

3 Easy Steps to Join a Support Group:

  1. Call our program staff at 505-323-0478 Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
  2. Attend a family orientation.
  3. CGC staff will help families choose a night of the week that works best for the family to attend group. Typically, families attend our main location in Albuquerque or our satellite location in Rio Rancho.  COVID precautions now have all of our support services happening over Zoom.

Why do we need a Children’s Grief Center?
Children grieve differently than adults and need a safe place to share their feelings during a time that they may feel isolated and alone. The idea of going to a “grief group” may sound weird or scary and guardians obviously want to protect their kiddos, and keep them from hurting MORE.  We tell families that a good way to explain the CGC to your child is “when you have a cavity, you go to the dentist.  If you have a broken leg, you go to the doctor. If a loved one passes away and you have a broken heart, you come to the Children’s Grief Center.” We help heal broken hearts.  A six-year-old who comes to the CGC because his Father died said: “when someone dies, you come here and it helps you.”

Additional Services

Family Workshops and Family Days are held quarterly and provide a unique opportunity for caregivers and children to come together as a family, strengthen the family system, and communicate with each other about their grief.  Topics include; creative & healing art activities, ways to memorialize, identifying family coping techniques, and a family day camp experience.  We conclude the time together with a meal and time to socialize with other bereaved families. The topics and times vary.  Check out our Events Page for upcoming workshops!

Back to School BootCamp is held once in August and is a workshop for children and their guardians to help prepare students for the new school year after the death of a loved one. Back to School Bootcamp is about improving education outcomes for bereaved students. Bereaved kids often struggle in school, especially the first year after the loss. The death of a loved one impacts the child’s ability to concentrate, to remember; even their immune system is compromised. School, like home, suddenly goes from being a safe place to a very challenging place. Check out our Events Page for future Back to School Bootcamps!

Grief in the Holidays Family Workshop takes place once in December and is a workshop that allows children and their families to learn together to prepare for the upcoming holiday season by teaching them ways to cope and offering activities and ideas on how to remember their loved one. There is a lot of pressure in our society to come together as a family during the holiday season and if you have had a loved one die recently, this can be overwhelming and can even magnify the loss. The need for support is much greater at this time of year. “Who will light the tree now that Daddy is gone? I feel like I have to be “happy” around my visiting relatives. How do we carry on tradition without our loved one?” Check out our Events Page for future Grief in the Holidays workshops!

The Remembrance Ceremony is a public event held once in December and is a ceremony to remember and honor your loved one with other Children’s Grief Center families and friends. The ceremony includes poetry, music, and the reading of the names. The Remembrance Ceremony is typically an hour. Check out our Events Page for future Remembrance Ceremonies!

Resources

The Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico has an extensive collection of grief and loss books and videos for all ages. The library is open to the public to borrow as needed. Please call us at 505-323-0478 to schedule a time to come check out books for your family.

CGC Brochure

CGC en Espanol

When a Loved one is Dying

About the Book
Raising kids has always been a balancing act. When someone in the family dies, everyone’s world is turned upside down. Getting through the pain of your own loss while having to attend to the needs of your kids, who are also grieving, is an incredible challenge.

Parenting Through Grief provides a framework for how to navigate parenting in the shadow of loss and the comfort of knowing you can still parent with confidence and love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About the Authors

Jade Richardson Bock served as Executive Director of the Children’s Grief Center of New Mexico from 2005 – 2018. The Children’s Grief Center provides support groups for children, teens and young adults ages 5-25 coping with the death of a caregiver or a sibling. Ms. Bock grew up in southern Virginia on her family’s commercial peach orchard. Her father was killed in an accident when she was 17. She continued to manage successful for-profit businesses until coming to CGC first as a volunteer bereavement facilitator in 2003, then as an employee in 2005. Under her leadership, the Center expanded programs in response to community need and served over 5,000 bereaved children and their families.  All proceeds from the sales of Parenting Through Grief are donated to the Children’s Grief Center to further sustain this vital work.

 

Craig Pierce, Ph.D., LMFT, LPCC is the Founder and President of Southwest Family Guidance Center and Institute, and the creator of the Attunetion Approach. With more than 30 years of mental health experience, Dr. Pierce is a fellow with the American Psychotherapy Association, working extensively in the public school system and in private practice as a school counselor and psychologist, and as a clinical director. His specialty areas of treatment include family therapy, domestic abuse, sexual and childhood abuse, childhood disorders, interpersonal neurobiology and clinical supervision.

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