Grief is a natural byproduct of loss. It has been nearly 22 years since Prince Harry lost his mother at 12-years-old. Prince Harry has only recently opened up about his mental wellbeing to the general public. In a recent interview he explained that “My way of dealing with it was sticking my head in the sand, refusing to ever think about my mum, because why would that help?” Prince Harry's candid admissions of his mental health struggles and journey with grief comes as he campaigns to end the taboo on mental health issues and establishing it as an equal counterpart to other illnesses. The Heads Together Foundation, a mental health initiative spearheaded by The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, aims to destigmatize and alter the conversation on grief and mental health issues. During a recent visit to Empire Fighting Chance in Bristol, England, Prince Harry asked everyone to clear the room so he could talk privately with a boy who lost his father. "The same thing happened to me," he told the boy. Though experiencing a death can be a life-changing event for anyone, childhood and adolescence are crucial periods of development. At The Children's Room we strive to create safe, supportive communities so that no child, teen, or family has to grieve alone. Our services aim to normalize the grieving process, while preserving the understanding that grief doesn't look the same for everyone, every loss is different. TCR's Clinical Director, Nancy Frumer Styron, JD, PsyD, shares “It is amazing to see a new family come through the doors of The Children’s Room for the first time, nervous and unsure, and be warmly welcomed by those who have been here for awhile. By the end [...]
Community in Action: Local Residents Malinda Dublin and Crissy Straub Coach Our 2019 Boston Marathon Team
Marathon Coaches Crissy Straub (left) and Malinda Dublin (right) on a race weekend in Bermuda For the fourth year in a row, The Children's Room is pleased to share that Lexington resident Crissy Straub and Arlington resident Malinda Dublin have generously volunteered their time to coach The Children’s Room’s 2019 "Miles and Memories" Boston Marathon team, as they fundraise and promote awareness for The Children's Room. Crissy and Malinda are lifelong friends and running partners who have run a combined total of 59 marathons to date. In 2015, they decided to form their unique blend of friendship and running experience into a business, MC Coaching, which specifically coaches marathon runners who are running to benefit a charity. Malinda and Crissy share, “This year, as every year since the Boston Marathon bombings, runners, spectators, volunteers, and supporters of the marathon will come together on Patriots’ Day in unity of a day that celebrates motivation, determination and perseverance of the human spirit. Our motivation to coach the team stems from knowing that the marathon fundraising dollars will allow TCR to continue the amazing work they do, and because we believe a supported runner is a happier, healthier and more successful runner and fundraiser. As coaches we strive to empower runners by providing them with tools they need to be successful from day one of training up through race day.” Crissy mentions, "Being able to coach the Children's Room "Miles and Memories" Boston Marathon team is a truly meaningful, fulfilling way for me to support an organization that does such important and necessary work. To be able to help other people while doing an activity which I love is a win-win situation. Running for the greater good is what every [...]
Thursday, November 15th, was National Children’s Grief Awareness Day! We were proud to wear blue to show our support and to connect with the community to raise awareness of the unique needs of grieving children and teens. Leading up to the event, we asked our TCR community to share their thoughts on the importance of grief awareness and support. Their beautiful handwritten reflections were written on blue hearts. Once completed, every two hearts were joined together as a butterfly, symbolizing the integration of grief and awareness and the changes that occur as we support each other with care and understanding. Ultimately, all of the messages we received were gathered and assembled by our incredible interns into one big, beautiful display. Here in Arlington, TCR program staff and interns hosted activities at the Ottoson Middle School and the new Gibbs School. We also hosted activities at John Glenn Middle School in Bedford, Jordan Boys & Girls Club in Chelsea, Lexington High School, and Prospect Hill Academy Charter Middle and High School. At the Yawkey Boys & Girls Club in Roxbury, TCR partnered with the Louis D. Brown Peace Institute to sponsor the activity. As part of these activities, children and teens were invited to honor their grief by placing a blue dot on a large piece of artwork in order to represent a person in their life who died. They were also invited to share their memories and reflections on blue hearts or strips of ribbon. The response was overwhelming! What a meaningful week we had! Thank you to all who participated. You continue to help us envision a world where death and dying are more fully integrated into our lives, which leads to greater compassion, [...]
By Laurie Moskowitz-Corrois, LMHC, REAT "Have you ever wondered why you “feel” more comfortable in certain environments? Is it the people in the space? Is it an aesthetic? The type of work that’s being done? Perhaps the music? Maybe it’s the lighting, the colors, the furniture placement, the art on the walls, or could it be our own energy and what we bring to the space? My response would be Yes!" All of this and more help to support an environment and tap into its inherent potential, it’s therapeutic nature. Therapeutic space could be defined simply as space designed and created with intention and purpose, an environment that supports the well being of those utilizing the space. Each room at TCR has been thoughtfully and carefully developed to support and enhance the personal and collective experience of our children, teens, and families. As the largest bereavement center in the northeast, The Children’s Room is recognized by many as a model in the community, reflecting the importance and value of therapeutic space planning. Creating a warm, inviting, grounded space begins with a trust of the space itself, a “felt sense” for the energy in the space. The concept of Therapeutic Space Planning is based on an understanding of valuing and respecting the environment, being aware of the purpose of the space, and then, with intention, supporting it to its full potential. In turn, the space reflects back the feeling of purpose, care, and the relationship it offers to those of us using and experiencing it. Oftentimes, the energy experienced in interior space is subliminal, more of a “felt-sense” than a visual one. Sometimes it can be misunderstood as an environment that is simply “organized” or “well designed.” However, there is an important [...]
As the summer winds down and fall begins to arrive, transitions are happening all around us. Rejoining the rhythms of the school year represents big changes for all of us, but this time of year can present a particularly difficult set of adjustments for grieving children, teens, and parents. For parents and caregivers, sending a grieving child or teen back to school can bring up a wide range of emotions. Parents want their children to feel safe, and they may worry about their child stepping out the door and into a less sheltered, less understanding environment outside of the home. Children and teens may crave a return to the normalcy and safety provided by school routine, but they may also find that their peers often misunderstand the many conflicting feelings caused by their loss. School teachers, counselors, and administrators might find themselves needing to support a grieving student and not know where to turn. It can be a difficult time of year, and there are no easy answers. We would like to share a few important tips as we begin this transition back to school. Communicate with the school. Good communication between a grieving child or teen’s home and the school is an important aspect of a successful transition back to school. It is also important for grieving children and teens to know that adults at school know about the death and are available for support. Plan ahead with the student’s teachers and administrators in order to set clear guidelines for his or her support as the child or teen returns to school. Acknowledge the grief. If you are supporting a grieving child or teen, do not pretend as if nothing has happened or changed. [...]
She did it! Dr. Victoria Arthur completed the Boston Marathon (her first marathon ever) with an official time of 4:48:41. Impressive! And there is more exciting news to share: Not only did Vic reach her fundraising goal of $7500 (enough to fund five children in our program), but she is getting very close to doubling that number. You can help her reach this amazing new target to fund ten children by donating today. To read more about Victoria and her story, visit our Victoria's Run page.
The Children’s Room Teen Performance Troupe has been on the road, performing their original skits and answering candid questions in middle schools, high schools, colleges, and social service agencies across Massachusetts. The teens bravely and honestly share their personal grief stories and experiences with their audiences. So often kids hold feelings of grief deep inside, and their grief is unrecognized and unacknowledged. These teens reach out to others with the message that breaking this silence is redemptive and healing. The Teen Performance Troupe is an integral part of The Children’s Room outreach and education effort in our communities, so that our message of hope and compassion reaches many more children in diverse neighborhoods and schools. For many children whose families cannot access bereavement services, the teen troupe brings empathy and validation. The troupe performance calendar includes dates for Lexington, Plymouth, and Newton schools, Tufts and BC, and a bereavement center in Northampton. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about scheduling a performance, or read more about The Teen Performance Troupe. We invite everyone to join us at the Belmont Hill School on June 6th for the final public performance of the season.
Thank you to the 350+ walkers who joined us, and to the many others who supported us from a distance! Our Memories Walk and 10th Anniversary Celebration on October 4th was such a meaningful and successful day. We enjoyed family, friends, inspiring words, sun (!) -- and even a rainbow to bring the day to a wonderful conclusion. There is still plenty of time to donate. The online teams and fundraising pages on Firstgiving at www.Firstgiving.com/childrensroom will remain up through the New Year. Since this is our 10th Anniversary, we hope people will keep on donating to teams and friends right through the end of the year -- and spread the word that you can still create a new fundraising page and help the children in our program. Thank you so much for the outpouring of support. We are deeply grateful!! Check back soon for more reflections on the day and to see pictures.
We are delighted to announce that The Children's Room Teen Performance Troupe has been selected as one of three beneficiaries of the 23rd annual Santa Claus Anonymous (SCA) SnowBall. SCA is a non-profit fundraising organization that supports Boston area youth programs for educational, social, and character development. What: Santa Claus Anonymous SnowBall The event includes dancing (to both live entertainment & DJ), a casino, silent auction, and pictures with Santa. There will be a cash bar and light hors d'oeuvres. This is a 21+ event, and attire is black tie optional. Where: Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers, 50 Park Plaza at Arlington Street When: Friday – December 4, 2009 from 9:00pm – 2:00am Why: Have fun while supporting great youth programs For more information about the event and to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.scaboston.org/purchasetickets.html Tickets purchased in advance are discounted, so reserve them today!
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