WIP aids family counseling program
Women in Philanthropy (WIP) recently made an $18,500 donation to the Treasure Coast Hospice Counseling Services (TCHCS) Youth and Family Program in support of the family support groups that aid families in the community who are grieving from the death of a loved one.
Family support groups provide a formal, structured therapeutic environment for the family unit. They help families identify feelings, utilize healthy ways to express feelings and strengthen family bonds. The counselors leading the groups specialize in individual and family bereavement.
The WIP grant helps provide food and materials for the group activities. Families come together at 6:30 p.m. twice a month. They begin with sharing a meal and having a connection time within their own family and with the other participants. Having this connection time helps provide opportunities for normalizing the grief process.
“During the connection time, all ages are together,” said Jennifer Melvin, manager of TCHCS Youth and Family Program. ”This is the time where families discover they are not the only ones grieving and they don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. There are other families who are experiencing the same thing and can understand what they are going through.“
After dinner and connection time, the families participate in the main activity, which may include hands-on activities, talking and sharing, games or creating things such as a family shield. The activities are designed to increase positive coping and to encourage healthy expression and communication.
“As the group continues, families begin to be able to laugh again, lean on one another and become stronger and closer than they ever thought possible,” Melvin said.
These family support groups are currently the only ones of their kind on the treasure Coast.The groups directly benefit the families involved but are geared to benefit the community as a whole as these families integrate back into their community and interact with others as stronger and self-sufficient people.
“We are so grateful to the Women in Philanthropy for helping us continue to support families walking through their grief journey,” Melvin said.
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