At Halifax Health – Hospice, we believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to grieve. Children often are thought to be too young to understand and cope with their grief. However, if given the proper support and understanding, children have a natural capacity to grieve and heal.
The Lawrence E. Whelan BeginAgain Children’s Grief Center provides this crucial support and understanding to children and families in Volusia, Flagler, Orange and Osceola counties who have experienced the death of a loved one. Through physical activity, art, drama, music and other activities, children ages 4-18 can share their feelings and learn ways to cope with their grief in a safe and child-friendly environment. In addition, they have the chance to bond with other grieving children and, as a result, discover they are not alone.
A separate group is also available for adults to share their own grief, and receive help in dealing with children who are grieving.
Since the Daytona Beach Center opened in 1998, it has gained national recognition for its successful outreach efforts. In response to the program’s success and the area’s growing needs, there are also Center’s located in West Volusia and in Flagler County. Children and families in all locations benefit from the skills and dedication of Master’s level counselors and a speciallytrained volunteer team.
At the Grief Centers, children and their families have the opportunity to participate in a variety of structured activities and “free time” to help them understand and express their grief. Expressive activities such as art, individual and group play, physical movement, memorial rituals and discussions are encouraged to help the healing process.
- The Art Room contains paints, drawing pads, easels and other craft items for children to creatively express themselves.
- The Play Room is filled with toys such as doll houses, puppets and costumes for dress up.
- The Game Room, where physical movement and expression are encouraged, is furnished with a punching bag in a padded area and high-energy games such as foosball and air hockey.
- The Circle Rooms promote group conversation.
- The Children/Teen Circle Room features stuffed animals and bean bag chairs arranged in a circle.
- The Adult Circle Room offers a comfortable setting for adults to share their own grief while learning how to help their children during this difficult time.
Grief Center Locations
East Volusia Center
655 North Clyde Morris Boulevard
Daytona Beach, Florida 32114
West Volusia Center
1250 S. S.R. 15A, Ste. 3
DeLand, Florida 32720
Flagler County Center
1500 S. Daytona Ave.
Flagler Beach, FL
New Smyrna Beach Center
First Presbyterian Church
509 Magnolia Ave.
New Smyrna Beach, FL
Orange and Osceola Center
5210 S. Orange Avenue
Orlando, FL 32809
Traumatic Loss Program