The Solace Tree offers on-going peer support groups for children and teens (2-18), young adults, and their family members in Reno, Nevada. Our groups are free of charge, ongoing, and meet every other week for 75 minutes. The groups are open to children and teens who have experienced the death of a parent, primary caregiver, sibling, or in the case of teens, a close friend. There are also groups that meet at the same time for the adult caregivers who bring children and teens to The Solace Tree.
Our groups provide participants with a safe, open place to be with other children and teens who have experienced a death. The groups are divided by age and offer a mix of opportunities for children and teens to share their experiences with grief and loss. Whether it’s talking about the death with other participants, using our art room, playing in the dramatic play room, or using our big energy areas, children and teens are encouraged to discover what works the best for them. All participants, regardless of age, are able to use the “I Pass” guideline, which means they get to decide when, and how much they wish to share with the rest of the group.
In order to join one of our groups, please call us at 775.324.7723 to schedule an orientation appointment. This is a chance for your family to visit the program and decide if one of our group(s) is a good match for your needs.
If you are a teen, check out our Help for Teens pages.
If you are a child, check out our Help for Kids pages.
Children ages 2 to 5 are grouped together every other week for 75 minutes. These children experience talking circles and then can express their thoughts and feelings through play activities.
Kids Helping Kids
Children 6 to 12 and 11 to 13 are divided by the death they experienced. These children also meet for 75 minutes every other week. They too express their thoughts and feelings in various activities.
Hearts For Teens
Teenagers 14 to 18 are in groups together. The teen group gets a chance to talk to each other and also do various activities for 75 minutes every other week.
All groups are facilitated by trained volunteers who are in turn coordinated by the Executive Director of The Solace Tree.
The Solace Tree refers children and teens to therapists and counselors if needed. We have a list of professional individuals who specialize in grief and loss.
The Solace Tree operates on the following principals adopted from the Dougy Center in Portland, Oregon:
- Grief is a natural reaction to the death of a loved one for children, teens and families.
- The duration and intensity of grief are unique for each individual.
- Within each individual is the natural capacity to heal oneself.
- Caring and acceptance assist in the healing process.
Kids Can Cope
This peer support program meets the growing needs of children, teens and adults through support, hope and healing. Kids Can Cope gives participants an opportunity to share feelings and concerns about living with someone who has cancer, life threatening medical conditions or disease in a safe environment.
Peer support programs are for children and teens ages 4 – 18 and for adults. Children and teens are able to talk about the changes in their life through art, memory games and self-expression. We provide food, drinks, and literature. This program meets once a month. There is no fee for participation. Call 775.324.7723 for more details.
Children’s Bereavement Network
The Children’s Bereavement Network is a collection of bereavement programs across the world to raise awareness, referral, and education to schools, universities, hospitals, social services and families who are coping with loss, that are searching for grief support programs in their city or state.
The hope of this alliance is to make more resources available to anybody who can’t seem to find a bereavement program in their area. Please call 775.324.7723 for more details.
How to get my child or teen started in a grief group.
- A parent, guardian, or professional contact us and a staff member will take basic information down about the family member who died.
- After we place your child or teen in a group we will then call you and tell you the place and time of the group meeting.
- Participants can be in the program as long as they find it helpful.
- Fill out a permission form.