Sunday, January 4, 2015

The Ted E. Bear Hollow organization

Editor’s note: Below is a summary of an organization to help grieving children and, in turn, build hope and support for many around the country.

A place where grieving children, teens and adults find hope is Ted E. Bear Hollow, where mending the hearts of grieving children and teens is their goal. Since its founding in 2001, this program of bereavement support provides free peer support programs as well as training, education, and consultation throughout Nebraska and Iowa. Volunteers support its free programs.

They use only the most passionate, caring trained grief facilitators and it is overseen by an experienced grief expert with a mental health background. Grief facilitators are required to complete intensive, 20-hours of child grief training and are mentored by experienced group facilitators. I say all this to assure everyone that these facilitators will help in every possible way.

Research shows that unresolved grief correlates to issues such as poor school performance and emotional and behavioral concerns, whereas health coping leads to long-term success for the child, the family and the community.

The organization relies on charitable contributions, income from special events held and its volunteerism to support its free programs. Children ages 3-18, who are grieving a death, participate in age appropriate activities to process emotions, enhance coping skills and build hope and support. Families are encouraged to attend a variety of programs depending on their needs and comfort levels.

One of Ted E. Bear Hollow’s goals is to empower the community to be more responsive and supportive of the needs of grieving families. Experienced grief professionals educate community agencies on children’s grief and, at times, consult with organizations following a death in order to provide excellent grief support beyond the walls of Ted E. Bear Hollow as well. Collaborations  for grief education and support have developed with such organizations as local elementary, middle and high schools; universities; childcare providers; after-school programs; and social services agencies. By creating awareness among these providers, Ted E. Bear Hollow hopes that the community becomes a safe, supportive place for all grieving families.

If you find your family in need of help, contact Ted E. Bear Hollow at 402-502-2773 in Omaha, Nebraska.

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