Imagine, A Center for Coping with Loss seeks 10 individuals for our October 19-22, 2018 volunteer facilitator training session.

Imagine peer support groups are the main source of support for grieving children and families in Union county and beyond. Groups are facilitated by trained adult volunteers who attend a 32-hour training and quarterly continuing education programs. Volunteers come from all walks of life and need no special background other than a willingness to listen and the ability to be with children and adults in pain without trying to fix, solve problems, or give advice. No prior experience is necessary. Volunteers, who must be age 21 or older, serve as companions and loving listeners for those who are grieving.

"As our programs continue to grow, so does our need for additional, highly trained facilitators," said Mandi Zucker, Imagine Program Director. "There is a great need for grief support in our community as childhood bereavement is a serious public health issue. The death of a parent or other important person in a child’s life has been noted to be one of the most commonly reported and disruptive Adverse Childhood Experiences."

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There are currently over 109,000 NJ youth age 0-18 who are bereaved due to the death of a parent. Of these Imagine is currently serving over 300 children and adults from over 50 NJ towns every two weeks. Volunteers say the training is "life-changing" and a wonderful opportunity for learning about themselves and how their own losses have affected the way they grieve and how they support others. People that complete the training also leave feeling empowered to be a supportive person to people grieving any type of loss.

Imagine is a free, year-round peer grief support center located in Mountainside, serving children age 3-18 who have had a parent or sibling die, with concurrent support groups for their parents or guardians. Support for children and teens living with a parent or sibling with a life-altering physical illness is also available. Free year-round support groups are also available for young adults who have had a friend, sibling, parent or other important person in their life die, or who have a parent, sibling or friend living with an illness.   

If you are interested in learning more about the upcoming training scheduled for October 19-22, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily, or about Imagine, contact Mandi@imaginenj.org.