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 [...]
Our Parents Council, a group of "alumni" parents and other caring parents come together for workshops on a variety of topics. The following information was compiled from their recent workshop. Words That Don't Help We have all been hurt by people saying or doing the wrong things in response to the tragic loss of a loved one. It often times makes things more difficult and can cause more pain and anger. Some common examples are: “You are the man of the house now and you need to take care of your mother” “How are you?” “Your loved one is at peace now.” “God gives you what you can handle.” “I know exactly how you feel.” “Everything happens for a reason.” “They are in a better place.” “You need to be strong for the kids.” We all agreed that people in general don’t know what to say, so often times they say the wrong things and these comments can be very hurtful. There are words that can heal and there are words that hurt. People are not trying to be malicious but they are uncomfortable around you and often times say the wrong things. Words That Help There are many things that can be said that will help and here is a list of them. “I don’t know what to say” “I am thinking about you” “I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers” “I am here for you” “I don’t know how you feel but I am here to help in any way I can”. Sometimes a hug or a gesture of kindness is better than saying anything. Don’t wait for the person to ask for help. Do something that you think will help [...]
In her most recent article on the Psychology Today website, our board member and child bereavement expert, Phyllis Silverman writes that people instinctively want to protect children when someone has died. In her thoughtful piece, she proposes that a better approach is to guide children through these experiences in ways that respect their age. Phyllis's article is here. Being honest with children is difficult, and an important part of our work at The Children's Room is to work with adults to help them with the language, tools and strategies that they need in their day-to-day dealings with all children. Teachers, counselors, coaches and nurses have all found our workshops and presentations to be helpful in developing these skills.