Catholic Charities Administrative Offices - (312) 655-7000.

Catholic Charities Social Services
- email GetHelp@catholiccharities.net, or call (312) 655-7700 in Chicago or (847) 782-4000 in Lake County and someone will assist you. Call volume is extremely high so email is recommended if you are unable to find what you need on the web site.

NEW: Counseling Support Line:  (312) 948-6951 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

To donate to our work by phone, call (312) 948-6087.  Every gift helps someone in need. 

mRelief Logo

Need financial assistance?

First, see if you qualify by using our online questionnaire: Rent, SNAP or Utility AssistanceThen Call

311

Chicago

(877) 426-6515

Suburban Cook

(847) 782-4000

Lake County


Newsletters & Articles


LOSS Program Office
721 N. LaSalle Street
Chicago, IL 60654

Main Line: (312) 655-7283
Fax Line: (312) 948-3340

Featured this Month:

Monthly Teen Drop-In Group
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
The LOSS program has a few events that allow members to regularly mark their calendars as a designated time to grieve the loss of their loved one. The Blossoms of Hope Spring Brunch is celebratory, while the Evening of Remembrance in November is solemn. Monthly and 8-week groups offer repeating opportunities for adults to process and share thoughts and feelings about suicide loss and the work of personal reconstruction in its aftermath.

In July we offer Growing and Connecting through Grief, a day for families with children to join others and experience a sense of community and hope. Because grief over time presents dual challenges of looking back as well as forward so that lives can be reconstructed, different needs suggest various rhythms for scheduling time to grieve. Adolescents have their own set of needs for grief. They share traits of both children and adults, grieving intermittently, but also consumed with the deeper, existential questions regarding suicide loss.

We know that such questions shift and evolve, requiring reflective time and support. With this in mind, teens also benefit from designating time to revisit a loss experience periodically. Since September 2017 a teen drop-in group has been meeting on the third Thursday of each month at River Forest Township Community Center from 6-7:30 p.m. A LOSS clinician and young adult facilitator are present to support and supervise. Here, teens have a safe place to share and process the experience of suicide loss with others in a developmentally supportive setting.

During adolescence we understand the peer group to be essential to social-emotional development. We see that the death of a peer can have a shocking impact on a teen community, and in this group peer loss is observed with no less significance than the death of a family member. So here, we have provided a safe place for teens who are reacting to suicide deaths of friends, siblings and parents. Among peers, different kinds of losses are revealed as unique intimate experiences, consistent with the fact that their capacity for new and deeper relationships expands with developmental growth. When the context for grief expression shifts to a peer group, we may see less of the inhibitions and defenses that can limit expression in individual and family counseling.

When teens adjust to this group, it is possible to relate to others with similar grief styles and needs. They are impressively articulate about personal experience and perception of others, including the person who died, the impact of parent or teacher support, the emotional risks apparent to them in other teens in their community and the imprint on them in knowing the person who died. As with all individuals bereaved by suicide, the adolescent grief process is relational. They process their experience in knowing the person they lost, the puzzle presented by what they saw as love and full engagement with life with the less perceptible indications that the person would end his or her own life.

The teen group can be quite a rich setting for healthy, supported expression of suicide grief. Once the security of cohesion has formed within the group, they will share balanced memories of the person who died, examine the stigma associated with suicide, practice compassionate acceptance of an incomprehensible loss and appreciation of the unique personal styles with which others from different backgrounds come to terms with loss.

We know that teens value the security of fitting in, but a refreshing emphasis on the right to be different has made its mark on teen culture. We hope the group will grow its potential to normalize and deepen diverse personal and cultural expressions of grief after suicide loss; a loss that, experienced in isolation, has the potential to test an adolescent’s emerging world view.


Archives:

Monthly Teen Drop-In Group
Wednesday, March 14, 2018 by Cynthia Waderlow MSE, LCSW
The LOSS program has a few events that allow members to regularly mark their calendars as a designated time to grieve the loss of their loved one. The Blossoms of Hope Spring Brunch is celebratory, while the Evening of Remembrance in November is solemn. Monthly and 8-week groups offer repeating opportunities for adults to process and share thoughts and feelings about suicide loss and the work of personal reconstruction in its aftermath.

In July we offer Growing and Connecting through Grief, a day for families with children to join others and experience a sense of community and hope. Because grief over time presents dual challenges of looking back as well as forward so that lives can be reconstructed, different needs suggest various rhythms for scheduling time to grieve. Adolescents have their own set of needs for grief. They share traits of both children and adults, grieving intermittently, but also consumed with the deeper, existential questions regarding suicide loss.

We know that such questions shift and evolve, requiring reflective time and support. With this in mind, teens also benefit from designating time to revisit a loss experience periodically. Since September 2017 a teen drop-in group has been meeting on the third Thursday of each month at River Forest Township Community Center from 6-7:30 p.m. A LOSS clinician and young adult facilitator are present to support and supervise. Here, teens have a safe place to share and process the experience of suicide loss with others in a developmentally supportive setting.

During adolescence we understand the peer group to be essential to social-emotional development. We see that the death of a peer can have a shocking impact on a teen community, and in this group peer loss is observed with no less significance than the death of a family member. So here, we have provided a safe place for teens who are reacting to suicide deaths of friends, siblings and parents. Among peers, different kinds of losses are revealed as unique intimate experiences, consistent with the fact that their capacity for new and deeper relationships expands with developmental growth. When the context for grief expression shifts to a peer group, we may see less of the inhibitions and defenses that can limit expression in individual and family counseling.

When teens adjust to this group, it is possible to relate to others with similar grief styles and needs. They are impressively articulate about personal experience and perception of others, including the person who died, the impact of parent or teacher support, the emotional risks apparent to them in other teens in their community and the imprint on them in knowing the person who died. As with all individuals bereaved by suicide, the adolescent grief process is relational. They process their experience in knowing the person they lost, the puzzle presented by what they saw as love and full engagement with life with the less perceptible indications that the person would end his or her own life.

The teen group can be quite a rich setting for healthy, supported expression of suicide grief. Once the security of cohesion has formed within the group, they will share balanced memories of the person who died, examine the stigma associated with suicide, practice compassionate acceptance of an incomprehensible loss and appreciation of the unique personal styles with which others from different backgrounds come to terms with loss.

We know that teens value the security of fitting in, but a refreshing emphasis on the right to be different has made its mark on teen culture. We hope the group will grow its potential to normalize and deepen diverse personal and cultural expressions of grief after suicide loss; a loss that, experienced in isolation, has the potential to test an adolescent’s emerging world view.