Grief Support Project

The Solace Tree offers on-going peer support groups for children and teens (3-18), young adults, and their family members in Reno, Nevada. Our groups 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.

“I’ve been able to understand the different levels of grief and am better equipped to deal with my own as well as my children… Just being able to talk about feelings as well as listening to what others are going thru has greatly helped me.” – John E

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’re a teen, check out our Help for Teens page.

If you’re a child, check out our Help for Kids page.

Solace Kids

Children ages 3 to 5 are grouped together every other week for 75 minutes. These children experience talking circles and can then express their thoughts and feelings through play activities.

Kids Helping Kids

Children ages 6 to 12 and 11 to 13 are divided by the death they experienced. These children also meet for 75 minutes every other week, and have the opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings in various activities.

Hearts For Teens

Teenagers 14 to 18 meet in groups together for 75 minutes every other week. The teen groups get a chance to talk to each other and also participate in various activities.

Growing Together

All groups are led by trained volunteers who are coordinated by the Executive Director of The Solace Tree.

The Solace Tree refers children and teens to therapists and counselors who specialize in grief and loss, if needed.

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 the opportunity to share their feelings and concerns about living with someone who has cancer, a life threatening medical condition, or disease, in a safe environment.

Our 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. 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 that strive to raise awareness, and provide referrals and education to schools, universities, hospitals, social services, and families 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 is unable to find a bereavement program in their area. Please call 775.324.7723 for more details.

Getting your child or teen started in a grief group:

  • A parent, guardian, or professional should contact us, and a staff member will request basic information about the  deceased family member.
  • 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.