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HPCM to hold grief support group for kids

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A local library will be the venue for a series of sessions for children and their caregivers that are dealing with grief.

Hospice & Palliative Care Manitoba (HPCM), which is based in St. James, will be offering the six-week support group called "Kids Grieve, Too" each Tuesday from Oct. 15 to Nov. 19 between 6:30 and 8 p.m. at St. Boniface Library, located at 100-131 Provencher Blvd.

Organizers recognize that while children can be surprisingly resilient in the aftermath of the death of a loved one, some may need additional support. The upcoming group sessions will offer a variety of age-appropriate activities that will help participants learn new coping skills as they grieve.

The program is aimed at children aged nine to 12, organizers say. Parents and guardians will also be offered support in a group setting at the same time.

Referrals for the program should be made directly to Claudette Moquin or Eleanore Verplaetse by calling 204-889-8525 (ext. 226).

According to its website, HPCM’s mission is to "promote compassionate, effective care for all Manitobans touched by any life-threatening condition or bereavement, and to provide services and education complementary to the formal health care system."

The organization also erects its Hospice Memory Tree at St. Vital Centre every holiday season.

The massive tree provides a way for individuals to help ease the pain of grief during the holidays by hanging a card of remembrance for a deceased loved one in a meaningful and symbolic way.

To learn more about HPCM, visit www.manitobahospice.ca

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