Peer Support Groups
Willow House peer support groups bring together children, teen, young adult and adult family members who share the profound experience of the death of a loved one. These groups provide a place in which the challenges and feelings of the grieving experience can be expressed, where loved ones are remembered and honored, and where stories can be shared in a safe and non-judgmental place.
Willow House groups are free of charge thanks to the generosity of our donors and volunteers.
Currently, the following group sites are available in Illinois:
Holy Cross Lutheran Church
29700 N St. Mary’s Road, Libertyville, IL
First Presbyterian Church of Arlington Heights
302 Dunton Avenue, Arlington Heights, IL 60004
Anshe Emet Synagogue
3715 North Broadway, Chicago, IL 60613
2231 Lakeside Dr, Bannockburn, IL
2231 Lakeside Dr, Bannockburn, IL
A Typical Evening
Families come together on group night for approximately two hours. The evening begins with a dinner which allows time to transition from busy days and to interact with others.
After an opening circle, Children and Teens gather in age appropriate groups led by trained facilitators. These groups offer activities designed to provide opportunity for expression of feelings, memorializing loved ones and sharing experiences. Children gain support, understanding and comfort knowing that their experience is “normal” and that they are not alone.
Young Adult groups bring together those who are grieving the death of a loved one and whose grieving process may be all the more isolating as they are also challenged in their new and changing adult lives, perhaps transitioning in their living arrangements, school, work and life of greater independence.
Adults gather in groups according to their loss. These sessions provide opportunities for mutual support and sharing. Education about the unique challenges of parenting grieving children and teens is an important component of the group meetings for parents.
Willow House group facilitators are staff members and volunteers who are carefully screened and dedicated to providing support to grieving families. All facilitators participate in a comprehensive 20-hour training; some have personal grief experiences and many are mental health professionals.
8 Week Teen Suicide Loss Support Group
When a loved one dies by suicide, the grieving process can be confusing and isolating. Willow House is offering an 8-week support group for middle school and teens to discuss topics related to a suicide loss. In our groups, we will use activities to discuss grief reactions, coping skills, stress, memories, changing roles, support systems, and how to care for ourselves in a content and natural way. For more information or to register to join, please call (847) 236-9300 or email [email protected]
January 28 – March 17, 2020
Tuesdays, 6:00 pm – 7:45 pm
7th – 12th Graders
Survivors of Suicide Loss
Survivors of Suicide Loss support groups are held at Willow House in Bannockburn, IL. These groups are provided for children, teens, young adults and families who are grieving the suicide death of a loved one.
When a loved one dies by suicide, life is changed forever for the entire family. The isolation of grief is often complicated by the stigma of suicide. Parents and other care-givers usually have questions and concerns for themselves and their children. At Willow House, we know that grieving is a normal reaction to such a devastating loss. The emotions, feelings, thoughts and significant life changes that come with grieving a suicide death are challenging and frequently misunderstood.