Nā Keiki O Emalia offers:
- An opportunity to be with others suffering a similar loss
- A safe environment to share stories and feelings
- A positive channel for coping with feelings of grief
- An understanding that grief is a natural and normal reaction to death
- An avenue for the healing process
- A path towards acceptance
- Group support coordinated by trained facilitators
All services are free. Children and teens may attend their group as long as they wish, and age determines what group the young person joins. Trained facilitators run the groups - these are support groups, not therapy, although therapeutic.
All groups meet in a central Maui location on Monday-Thursday. Littles (3-6 years old) and their adult care provider/s meet in the afternoon at 3:30 p.m. for 75 minutes. Older children, teens, and their families meet at 6 p.m. for 90 minutes. Group size is limited.
An application form and interview must be completed before you are assigned to a group.
Children or teens meet in one room, and at the same time the group for their adults meets in another room.
All groups open with “circle time” when participants speak if they wish, and the children’s groups move into activities.
The purpose of Nā Keiki O Emalia’s groups is to:
- Help children and teens to know they are not alone in their grief.
- Provide comfort for children by establishing a place where they can talk about their experience, the person who died, their fears, and their concerns.
- Honor a child’s inner experience; children’s grief is not always manifest and may be overlooked as parents and care providers resume their everyday routines and responsibilities.
- Give children and teens the opportunity to process their grief and experience happy moments as they form new friendships and bond with peers who have suffered from losing a loved one.
- Facilitate the formation of ongoing friendships among youngsters.
- Help parents meet the emotional challenges of their grieving children and teens in healthy ways.
- Help parents with children of similar ages learn healthy parenting tools for their grieving children at their child’s developmental stage.
- Help parents distinguish between normal behavior for their child’s age and what behaviors might point to a youngster’s distress.
- Provide names of therapists or other agencies if parents request such a resource.
- Help parent/s in handling their own grief; children whose parent or sibling has died are at a disadvantage if the surviving parent is not handling his or her grief well.
- Support families in their grief.
- Facilitate healing for the entire family: help participants move towards acceptance and to regain a sense of joy and laughter.
Nā Keiki O Emalia is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
You can help Nā Keiki O Emalia by making a financial gift of any amount or by volunteering.