Helping Children Cope with Death and Grief

Child in Grief


Grief is difficult to process and discuss. Although children grieve differently than adults, they do experience loss, isolation, and despair after a death. Children’s Grief Awareness Day (November 17, 2022) occurs on the Thursday before Thanksgiving every year to focus attention on supporting the needs of bereaved children.


The Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC) Network launched its Grief Sensitivity Virtual Learning Institute in September 2020. This series provides frontline workers with tools and strategies for addressing the needs of individuals (adults and school-aged young people) experiencing grief and loss during COVID-19 and beyond. To date, over 1 million Americans have died from COVID-19. Children who have lost their parents, caregivers or other loved ones are at increased risk of depression; especially given additional adversities related to the pandemic including the economic crisis, racial injustice, social isolation, and educational disruption.


The Central East MHTTC, in partnership with the Black Psychiatrists of America, hosted the webinar “Treating Grief and Loss in Black Children and Youth” in October 2021. This presentation examined the differences between low mood, clinical depression, and bereavement among children; and discussed measures for coping with grief to prevent episodes of childhood clinical depression. Honor Children’s Grief Awareness Day by utilizing learning opportunities and showing bereaved children that they are not alone. 


This article was originally published in the November 2022 issue of the Dialogue eNewsletter.


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