NEWARK, NJ -- A new grief support center will open its doors next month.

The new center, which has its base in Mountainside, provides free year-round peer grief support programs for children and teens aged 3-18, and young adults aged 18-30, who are coping with loss due to the death of a parent, brother, sister, or another important person in their lives. The program also provides separate support groups for the parents and guardians of the children served.

Childhood bereavement is a serious public mental and physical health issue. The death of a parent or other important person in a child’s life is one of the most commonly reported and disruptive Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs.) There are over 109,000 New Jersey youth aged 0-18 who are bereaved due to the death of a parent.

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Imagine Newark’s mission is to support these children and teens and ensure their ability to grow up emotionally healthy in order to lead meaningful and productive lives.

Trained adult volunteers lead weekly support groups, providing participants with the tools and support needed to process their grief so they can function well. Anyone wishing to participate, volunteer, or simply learn more about Imagine Newark should contact Program Director Jacelyn Matthews at 908-264-3100, ext. 108, or email her at jacelyn@imaginenj.org.

Imagine, A Center for coping with Loss, a not-for-profit 501(c)3 organization, uses a peer support group model to provide grief support for children and young adults. Trained adult volunteers and professionals provide children and teens with the comfort and tools needed to aid their ability to process grief and grow up emotionally healthy. Imagine has two locations in New Jersey -- in Mountainside and Newark. Please visit us at imaginenj.org.