One look at a young person’s drawing, and it’s clear that things don’t feel right. A picture of a girl, arms raised, hands in the ‘stop’ position. Words—raining down on top of her, overlapping, angry and dark. “News. Lies. COVID. Germs. Zoom. Loss. Alone.”
It feels chaotic and unsettled, a feeling so familiar to all of us living through a pandemic. But for children and adolescents—and especially for those who were facing grief and loss before all this began—it has never felt so critical to bolster adults’ ability to provide support and to help kids learn coping strategies.
To help, the Wendt Center Training Institute is offering a new virtual workshop, “Helping Children and Youth Heal in a New Era of Grief,” on Friday, September 11, 2020, from 12:00-3:30 pm EDT. Designed with licensed mental health professionals and school-based clinicians in mind, the program will provide vital knowledge about grief in children and youth, as well as provide practical tools to help kids heal.
“I will focus a lot of the course on the practice of interventions that can work in the virtual world of teletherapy and telehealth,” said Emily Prusator, LICSW, lead instructor. “We need to broaden our understanding of what grief is, and COVID has really pushed us to do that; grief isn’t just about a death. There are layers upon layers of loss right now, with kids grieving as they lose so much of what they knew as normal, grounding, and safe. Historically, grief and trauma in children centered on death and violence. Our new baseline is that every child is grieving, and we need to equip adults to respond and provide support. While grief cannot be ‘fixed,’ we can learn how to sit with it, hold it, and express it.”
More information, as well as registration, is available online. As part of the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing, the Wendt Center Training Institute offers customized, trauma-informed workshops that equip mental health professionals and lay leaders with skills to address grief, loss, and trauma in the communities in which they work and live.
Friday, September 11, 2020