About the LOSS Program for Children and Youth
The LOSS Children's Program addresses the needs of children and adolescents impacted by the suicide of a family member or person close to them. The LOSS Program is a free and non-denominational service, serving Cook and Lake counties, offered by Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago. We are funded by the Illinois Children's Health Care Foundation, other foundations concerned with the welfare of children, as well as your private donations.
LOSS Program for Children and Youth is here to guide and support young survivors of suicide through the grief recovery process. We help children and adolescents develop an age appropriate understanding of the death, develop tolerance for painful feelings, regain a sense of security in a reconfigured family, and reconstruct new and healthy self-concepts as survivors.
What does the LOSS Program for Children and Youth do?
The LOSS Children's Program begins with assessment to better understand the impact of suicide on your child's emotional and behavioral functioning. We work to help your child make sense of the loss and move through the grief process in a developmentally appropriate way that minimizes unhealthy expressions of grief. Treatment goals include trauma resolution and strengthening of family connections.
What you may not know about the impact of suicide on your child
- Studies show that bereaved parents may not recognize the full scale of their children's distress due to their own grief.
- Children may inhibit their grief reactions in order to avoid increasing their parent's sadness or anxiety.
- Children and adolescents need support in handling their interactions with peers after the suicide loss.
- Traumatic reactions can interfere with normal grieving processes and present emotional and behavioral risks.
- Children seem particularly vulnerable to the dual demands of trauma mastery and grief work.
(R. S. Pynoos, MD, MPH)
How does the LOSS Program for Children and Youth help?
- We provide a helping environment that is safe and nurturing.
- We assist with trauma resolution.
- We normalize the intense feelings of grief while correcting misconceptions you child may have formed about the suicide.
- We assist with coping skills and a realistic understanding of the grief process.
- We help you to understand your child’s needs and model healthy grieving.
- Individual therapy for children and teens, ages three to eighteen.
- Family counseling.
- Peer support groups.
- Parent consultation.
- School and community debriefings when a suicide has occurred.
Please call the LOSS office for additional information (312) 655-7283.