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Chicago, IL 60654

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Featured this Month:

Caring for Trauma Reactive Children after a Suicide Loss
Wednesday, August 16, 2017 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
In a suicide bereaved family it is conceivable that each survivor bears some level of trauma. The sudden intrusion of paramedics, ambulances and police with flashing lights, witnessing distraught reactions of parents and especially, exposure to the scene of death will impact the central nervous system of every family member. Even those not physically present at the time the suicide is discovered may be disturbed by intrusive imaginary images and sounds. Parents who seek counseling for their bereaved children know that this loss feels incomprehensible and has far-reaching impact. Whether a child openly shows reactivity and emotional dysregulation or has learned to mask their distress it is smart to assess for trauma. Not all traumatic experiences meet the clinical level of Posttraumatic Stress Syndrome, as defined by the DSM-5, but the extraordinary and shocking nature of suicide loss can give rise to trauma symptoms, which include intrusive remembering, emotional numbing and avoidance as well as general hyper-arousal. Intrusive remembering can look like recurrent disturbing dreams, flashbacks of the experience or heightened reactions to reminders of the loss.
Restoring Family Stability after a Suicide
Monday, September 18, 2017 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
Every family has various needs for structure. As they grow, families will create the rules and routines that support their ability to function. We know that families have different resources and various amounts of structure supporting day-to-day living, but if they have inadequate structure and routine for too long there can be emotional and behavioral reactions.

Archives:

Can a Loving Parent Create Obstacles to a Child’s Grief Process?
Thursday, September 01, 2016 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
Parental bereavement is one of the most stressful experiences that a child can face. And sudden death, such as suicide, will usually impact children with some level of trauma because a primary  attachment bond has been  spontaneously disrupted, even violated, under circumstances that may have involved violence or exposure to the scene of death.  Consider that a child’s capacity to express and integrate aspects of grief will be limited by her current age and development.  But with support, a bereaved child will grow into a more mature understanding of the loss and internalize meaningful memories of the deceased parent.
Starting Over
Monday, August 01, 2016 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
our family has experienced a suicide.  In its wake the world feels different and much of what once mattered now feels less meaningful...  The first weeks and months after a suicide are disorienting, and your energy is drained.  You are only trying to survive the shock, the relentless questions, the unyielding despair. You find yourself looking for solutions because fulfilling your role as a parent has become infinitely harder.  Your children and teens are presenting with grief symptoms that you don’t understand.  Are they grieving???