National Children’s Grief Awareness day is Thursday, November 15th

h1>Press Release


DATE: November 7, 2012
CONTACT: Dr. Roxanne Debski- Seigel
Karen Ann Quinlan Memorial Foundation
Offices in Newton & Phillipsburg, NJ & Milford PA.
PHONE: 973-383-0115
TOLL FREE: 800-882-1117
FAX: 973-383-6889

Children sharing their stories with a counselor from the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center
PHOTO: Children sharing their stories with a counselor from the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center.

National Children’s Grief Awareness day is Thursday, November 15th.

Newton, NJ – November 7, 2012 – The Joseph T Quinlan Bereavement Center in Newton will hold an open house from 9 to 3 p.m. for community and professionals to come visit the center, meet the counselors, and receive some information on how to best support grieving children. Children are often the forgotten mourners when in actuality they need to be heard and supported.

Supporting “Children’s Grief Awareness Day” is a way to bring grieving children who have had a loved one die out of the shadows and feel less isolated. The Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center will unite with organizations across the nation and along with thousands of adults and children in wearing blue to commemorate the day and call attention to the issue.

The Children’s Grief Awareness Day originated in 2007 in Pennsylvania by the Highmark Caring Place, a Center for Grieving Children, Adolescents and Their Families and is observed every year on the third Thursday of November. This time of year is a particularly appropriate time as the holiday season is especially difficult after a death. Children’s Grief Awareness Day seeks to bring attention to the fact that support can make all the difference in the life of a grieving child.

This day provides an opportunity for all of us to raise awareness of the painful impact that the death of a loved one has in the life of a child and an opportunity for all of us to recognize and support the millions of grieving children across the nation, the thousands of grieving children right in our own communities, and the grieving children we know and see in our daily lives. Help us make sure that these children receive the support they need.

The Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center at 61 Spring St. Newton plans to pass out blue lollipops to children and adults on this day and will display blue colored balloons outside the center to draw attention and visitors. Prepared “packets” of information for adults on how to support a grieving child will be handed out as well as children’s materials such as coloring books and short story books on the topic. A Children’s Grief Awareness Day Toolkit containing ideas for a range of activities is available free of charge at their webpage:
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Diana Sebzda, MA, LPC, CT, Director of Bereavement, Lorri Opitz, MA, CT, Grief Counselor and Jennifer Smetana, MSW, LSW, Grief Counselor provide emotional support and education about the grief process to adults and children, not only through the hospice programs of Karen Ann Quinlan Hospice, but to the community as well. One of the center’s hallmark programs is the Children’s Art Bereavement Program which is offered three times a year. The counselors also offer Healing in the Classroom Workshops to school systems throughout the tri-state area which focus on educating school professionals in recognizing grief responses in their students and how best to support these children. The center has a lending library that is also available to the public and professionals in the area with literature on the topic of explaining death and dying to young people.

The Sussex County location of the Joseph T. Quinlan Bereavement Center is located at 61 Spring Street, Suite 100 Newton and is open Monday – Friday from 8:30 to 4:30. For more information about our services, please call 973-940-0413 or visit


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