Hospice Simcoe launches grief chat room for teens

Agency says it can be intimidating for teens to reach out and receive support

Life as a teenager can be a juggling act on a good day. Now imagine a teen who has someone in their life living with a terminal illness, or has lost someone close to them, or is trying to support a grieving friend.

Hospice Simcoe launches Teen Grief Chat on Thursday to help youth navigate these challenges.

“We understand that it can be very intimidating to kind of reach out and receive support, especially for something like this, because taking about a loved one that has died is….it’s intense,” says Colleen Risk, Bereavement Coordinator at Hospice Simcoe.

Risk hopes by launching this chat room people can receive this information and then make an informed choice.

“Just kind of receiving some validation that it’s okay that you’re feeling angry and sad, or it’s okay to even have days where you’re just feeling good, that kind of thing.”

The chat room will be a place where young people between the ages of 12-18 can get help and resources. Risk says Hospice Simcoe can help them find resources that would be the best fit for them, and to connect with other teens who are going through something similar.

Risk say often with teens when they’re bereaved or have someone in their world who has, say cancer, they often feel like they’re different from their peers. She says the teen grief chat is an opportunity for them to get information and support, and not feel different.

“It’s an open chat forum so people can kind of come as they please, when they feel they need it. If they feel a group would be something beneficial for them, they can touch base with me and I would connect them to groups that would be appropriate for them.”

Risk and a volunteer will facilitate the discussion and moderate to make sure that it’s appropriate and it’s safe for everybody.

Teen Grief Chat will be held the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

For more information, contact Colleen Risk at (705) 725-1140 or colleen@hospicesimcoe.ca