Conference on Coping with Loss Organized to Offer Hope During Uncertain Times

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From North Star Reach

North Star Reach, the medical specialty camp for children with serious illnesses and their families located outside of Ann Arbor, will host a FREE virtual half-day conference, bringing together licensed clinical social workers, skilled grief counselors, poets, and speakers with experience helping themselves and others cope with significant loss and find comfort in companionship with others, on Thursday, March 4, from 12 to 5 p.m. (EST).

The program is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers cope with the loss of a loved one, diagnosis of a child’s chronic illness, or other life-changing events. Keynote presentations, panels, and workshops—including sessions on anticipatory grief and shaping grief with language—are intended to help parents and caregivers cope.

Lynn Jarrett, LPC a retired licensed professional counselor, will talk about her own grief journey after losing her daughter to a heart and blood infection in 2016 in her keynote “Learning to Navigate the Grief Journey.” She is currently a caregiver coach to parents of chronically ill children. She helps caregivers experiencing burnout to restore their strength so they can care well for themselves and their loved ones, and lead a healthier, more balanced life.

A unique design of the conference is that topics will be addressed from a range of personal and professional perspectives.

“We are all faced with processing significant loss during this pandemic,” says North Star Reach’s Family Liaison & Outreach Specialist Jessica Doletzky, CCLS, CTRS, one of the event organizers. “We created this virtual conference to provide a space where members of our community, including parents of chronically ill children and healthcare professionals, could come together and help one another through difficult times.”

Addressing how caregivers and parents can support siblings, kids, and teens after the loss of a significant family member or friend will be sessions led by Jennifer Gretzema, LLPC, NCC, SCL, CCLS, Child Life Specialist, and Mental Health Counselor at Michigan Medicine’s C.S.

Mott Children’s Hospital, and social workers Hannah Brown, LMSW, and Peggy Galimberti, LMSW – Clinical, ACSW, from Ele’s Place Ann Arbor.

Presentations will also explore how to find hope and resiliency during a time of grief, including presentations by Arbor Hospice in Ann Arbor Grief Counselor Margie Martin, MA, and St. Joseph Mercy Hospital Palliative Care Social Worker Jennifer Hill Buehrer, LMSW.

Benefits of this virtual free conference for parents and caregivers include:

• Emotional support for grieving the loss of a child, teen, or significant person in their lives with others who are navigating similar loss

• Access to mental health professionals and community grief support resources

• Bring together a caring community to offer hope and support for those embarking on the lifelong journey of grieving life-changing loss or diagnosis 

The free virtual conference is open to the public and all are welcome. To see the full program schedule and to register online, visit https://campathome.northstarreach.org/coping-with-loss-conference/

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About North Star Reach

Located on 105 scenic acres of rolling hills and waterfront in Pickney, Michigan, North Star Reach is a medical specialty camp that serves kids with chronic and life-threatening health challenges and their family members, all at no charge to them. The state-of-the-art health center is staffed by medical professionals from leading hospitals and medical centers throughout the Great Lakes region. North Star Reach is also a member of the prestigious SeriousFun Children’s Network (SFCN). Founded by legendary actor and philanthropist Paul Newman in 1988, SFCN is now a global network of 30 camps and programs for children with special medical needs. During the pandemic, all programs are now offered virtually; details can be found at https://campathome.northstarreach.org. As a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization, North Star Reach is independently managed and funded and entirely dependent on private donations to serve every camper free of charge. Learn more at our main website, and on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

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