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Supporting Bereaved Children and Families

BRIDGES: A Center for Grieving ChildrenBRIDGES: A Center for Grieving Children was established in 1988 in recognition of a need that existed within our community. Bereaved children were struggling to understand and reconcile the serious illness or death of a family member. A way to support the special concerns of bereaved children was needed. Unresolved grief due to lack of support and isolation often finds expression in ways that adversely affect the health and emotional well being of the bereaved child. It is BRIDGES’ aim that no child will grieve alone.

As part of the continuum of care offered by Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital & Health Center, the BRIDGES program is a family grief support center for children between the ages of 4 and 18 years who have experienced the serious illness of a family member or death of a relative or close friend. BRIDGES provides a supportive, creative and understanding environment for bereaved children and their families. It is a safe place where children can work and play at healing the losses that trouble them.

Since BRIDGES opened its doors in 1988, we have served more than 1,450 children from more than 1,050 families.



Lisa Duke, MSW, Family Support Coordinator

Darren Wenz, LICSW, CT, BRIDGES Coordinator

Heather Neal, LICSW, CT, Supervisor Grief and Loss Services