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Suncoast Kid's Place: a safe haven for grieving children

Suncoast Kid's Place: a safe haven for grieving children

Spending time at the Memory Garden at Suncoast Kid's Place is one of the techniques used to help children cope with grief. Photo by Daniel Partridge.

LUTZ — According to Suncoast Kid’s Place, there will always be room for community when a child loses a loved one.

Instead of letting the diseases of depression or drug and alcohol abuse get the best of the children who undergo the hardship of loss, Suncoast Kid’s Place has provided a place to therapeutically discuss the pain that is a side effect of their individual tragedies. Sessions are twice a month, where they encounter kids like them who have been in the same situation but grieve differently.

The faith-based free service, founded by Van Dyke Church, was inspired by the Dougy Center for Grieving Children in Portland, Oregon. And while they’ll admit that they don’t have a formula for aiding all the hurt souls that enter their doors, the people at Suncoast do vow to provide each kid with the right amount of presence and support needed in order to speed up the healing process. Daniel Partridge, the program coordinator at Suncoast Kid’s Place, defines the program with his own words.

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