Seminar: The death of a significant person represents one of the most powerful disruptions in all aspects of a child or youth’s emotional existence. Yet few professionals, whether in the field of mental health, medicine, or education, receive formal training on how to support children and youth who are grieving a death. This seminar will identify common barriers to supporting children and youth who are grieving, and will highlight practical strategies that can be used in a variety of settings to help children and youth integrate the reality of the death into their lives in a healthy way. The session will include stories and important messages from children, youth, and their families that illustrate “best practice” guidelines for supporting the mental health of children who are grieving.
Andrea Warnick is an educator and grief therapist whose passion lies in helping families and communities support children who are grieving the illness or death of someone close to them. With a degree in nursing, a Masters degree in Thanatology (the study of dying and death) and years of nursing and counselling experience both in Canada and abroad, Andrea brings to her work a rare mixture of medical and psychosocial expertise. Andrea developed and teaches the Certificate Program in Children’s Grief and Bereavement at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre in Toronto. In addition to providing education to professionals and volunteers, Andrea provides grief counselling support by phone to families across North America, and has an in-person counseling practice in Toronto, where she lives.