Halifax Health Opens BeginAgain Children’s Grief Center in Orlando

DAYTONA BEACH, FLA. – (August 18, 2017) – On August 23, Halifax Health – Hospice will celebrate the grand opening of its newest BeginAgain Children’s Grief Center, located at 5210 South Orange Avenue in Orlando, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.  The community is invited to attend this free event to tour the center and to learn more about the free programs and services it offers Central Florida residents.

“Halifax Health is proud to extend our nationally recognized children’s grief counseling services and award-winning traumatic loss programs to Orlando area residents,” says Halifax Health President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Feasel.  He adds, “BeginAgain’s supportive, experiential approach has proven to make a difference for children and their families during the grieving process.”

Lawrence E. Whelan BeginAgain Children’s Grief Centers provide crucial support and understanding to children and families who have experienced the death of a loved one.  Through physical activity, art, drama, music and other activities, this program encourages grief expression in children and teenagers, ages 4-18, in a safe, child-friendly environment.  The first center opened in Daytona Beach in 1998.  Additional centers are located in DeLand, New Smyrna Beach and Flagler Beach.  

“The beauty of our program is that it allows children who have suffered loss the opportunity to share their feelings and learn ways to cope with their grief.  They also have the chance to bond with other grieving children, and as a result, discover that they are not alone,” explains Mary Jo Allen, executive director for Halifax Health – Hospice.

At the BeginAgain center in Orlando, children and their families have the opportunity to participate in a variety of structured activities and free-time in the center’s three therapy rooms to help them better understand and express their grief through art, individual and group play, physical movement, memorial rituals and discussions to assist in the healing process.  The center’s three therapy rooms include:

  • The Art Room.  Contains paints, drawing pads, easels and other craft items for children that allows them to creatively express themselves. 
  • The Bean Bag Room.  Where children can offer verbal expressions of grief through planned games and verbal activities.  The room features stuffed animals and bean bag chairs arranged in a circle to promote conversation.
  • The Play Room.  Features a variety of toys that allow for free play opportunities, including a therapeutic sand tray, puzzles, games, a dollhouse, puppets and more.

The center’s group therapy sessions for children are one-hour in length and take place twice a month in the evening.  Prior to each session, children are placed in age-appropriate groups – young children, pre-teen and teen.  The children then take part in planned activities and 30 minutes of free play.

A separate group is also available for adults to share their own grief and receive help in dealing with grieving children.  Services are provided by master’s-level counselors and a specially-trained volunteer team. 

Parents and guardians of children who have suffered the loss of a loved one are encouraged to refer them to BeginAgain Children’s Grief Centers.  Adults and their children are required to meet with a counselor once prior to joining a group therapy session.

There is no charge for BeginAgain’s services, however, donations are welcome.

To schedule an appointment at BeginAgain Children’s Grief Center in Orlando, call 407.825.9848.

Halifax Health

Recognized by The Joint Commission as a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures, Halifax Health serves Volusia and Flagler counties, providing a continuum of healthcare services through a network of organizations including a tertiary hospital, community hospital, freestanding emergency department, an urgent care, psychiatric services, a cancer treatment center with five outreach locations, hospice care, a center for inpatient rehabilitation, primary care walk-in clinics, a walk-in clinic specializing in women’s health, a pediatric care community clinic, three children’s medical practices, a home healthcare agency, and an exclusive provider organization.  Halifax Health also boasts a Level II Trauma Center, Comprehensive Stroke Center, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, Pediatric Emergency Department, Child and Adolescent Behavioral Services, complete Neurosurgical Services, OB Emergency Department and Level II Neonatal Intensive Care Unit that cares for babies born as early as 28 weeks.  For more information, visit halifaxhealth.org.

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