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Experience Camps are free one-week camps for children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. This program helps build confidence, encourages laughter, and allows them to navigate their grief through friendship, teamwork, athletics, and the common bond of loss. Camp is a safe environment where kids can explore their grief, break the isolation they may feel with their non-camp peers, and have a whole lot of fun. They have the opportunity to meet and connect with kids who are coping with similar challenges, while getting all of the benefits of the traditional summer camp experience. And just about everyone will tell you, “It’s the best week of the year.”
For more information check out visit Experience.Camp.
Or contact Clinical Directors Brianne Overton and David Webber:
Brianne Overton, Clinical Directory MI Girls Program [email protected] 314.221.2964
David Webber, Clinical Director MI Boys Program [email protected] 313.715.8778
Offers community and understanding to children and teens who have lost a parent.
What to Expect: SLAP’D is an online blogging website that works to connect youth online. This platform provides a reminder that they are not alone in their journey, as well as hope for the future. The website includes a discussion form, articles and interviews from professionals and youth, and a personalized scrapbook where individuals can develop an online memorial for their parent.
Offers individual and family grief counseling at multiple locations across Chicago
Contact: For general questions about locations and services offered, call 312.922.7474 x310 or email [email protected].
Downtown: The Chicago Institute for Psychoanalysis
122 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60603
North-Deerfield: Lauri Bauer Center
1020 Milwaukee Ave, Suite #120
Deerfield, IL 60015
518 Davis St
Evanston, IL 60201
South: La Rabida Children’s Hospital
East 65th St (at Lake Michigan)
Chicago, IL 60649
Southwest: Little Company of Mary Hospital
2800 W 95th St (at California)
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
What to Expect: A counselor will meet individually with the caregiver followed by a meeting with the child to gather information about the loss and determine the child’s individual needs. Then the child meets one-on-one with the counselor. The counselor also provides ongoing support to the caregiver.
Cost: Barr-Harris does accept insurance and offers an incredible accommodating sliding payment scale. No family is denied services for financial reasons.
Offers monthly and eight-week session weekly grief support group for children and families, as well as individual and family grief counseling.
Contact: For general questions about services offered, call 708.995.3750 or email [email protected].
Southwest: Buddy’s Place
1032 Burlington Ave
Western Springs, IL 60558
What to Expect:
**All programs require a registration form to be filled out on the Buddy’s Place website**
Offers monthly meetings, short-term groups, holiday gatherings, and an annual family camp for children and families who have experienced a significant loss.
Contact: For general questions about the location and services offered, call 847.653.3140
Northwest: Lutheran General Care Center
9375 Church Street
Des Plaines, IL 60016
What to Expect:
** Call for preliminary interview that is required before registration**
Offers age-specific weekly grief support groups for children as well as their caregivers and family members.
Contact: For general questions about service offered call 708.422.6200
Southwest: The Heart Connection
2800 W 95th St
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
What to Expect: Meetings occur once a week over eight weeks. During the sessions, children are provided with guidance and support while participating in creative activities. Additionally, family members are provided with weekly topics to help guide them in caring for themselves and their child through the process of grief and healing.
** Registration and application are required. Call for more information**
Willow House offers support groups for those who are grieving the death of a parent, sibling, or partner.
Contact: For general information or questions about Willow House programs, please call 847.236.9300.
Main Location: 2231 Lakeside Dr, Bannockburn, IL 60015
Other Locations: Willow House hosts three satellite group locations in Libertyville, Arlington Heights, and Chicago. Willow House also hosts a Survivors of Suicide group in Bannockburn.
What to Expect: Meetings last for approximately two hours. The meeting begins with a shared dinner and opening circle, before transitioning into small groups. Children are divided into age appropriate support groups, while caregivers are divided into groups based on their type of loss. In these groups individual’s children are able to express their feelings and memorialize their loved one, while the caregiver is able to receive support, coping skills, and education about the process of their grief and parenting grieving children.
** Pre-registration is required before attending. Call for more information**
Offers grief counseling services for those who have experienced a significant loss.
Contact: For general questions about service offered call 773.274.4600 or email [email protected].
1263 W Loyola Ave
Chicago, IL 60626
What to Expect: The counseling therapists work to educate individuals about the stages of grief and the factors influencing an individual’s reaction to their loss. During sessions, individuals will learn to confront and experience emotional expression and better understanding of their loss.
** Intake appointment required. Call for more information**
Cost: Call for more information.
Offers individual and group therapy for adolescents dealing with death or loss.
Contact: For general questions about services offered, call 312.880.9349 or email [email protected].
1300 W Belmont Ave, Suite #10
Chicago, IL 60657
What to Expect: Sessions consist of supportive and compassionate services intertwined with play, art, and music. The goal of the sessions is to effectively achieve long-lasting positive change.
Cost: Accepts Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Sliding Scale for non-insurance holders: $75 per session.
Offers individual and family counseling.
Contact: For general questions about services offered and to complete an intake call, dial 312.655.7191
Near West Side
2310 W Roosevelt, 2nd Floor
Chicago, IL 60608
6202 S Halsted St
Chicago, IL 60621
1100 S May 2nd Fl
Chicgao, IL 60607
11255 S Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60628
What to Expect: Interventions are geared towards the individual child and family to focus on creating appropriate coping skills.
Cost: Fees are based on income and ability to pay.
Offers individual and family counseling, as well as support group services for individuals who have experienced the loss of a loved one to suicide.
Contact: For general questions about services offered, call 312.655.7283
Locations: All over the Chicagoland area. Call the LOSS office at 312.655.7283 OR visit the website to learn more about location meetings and times.
What to Expect: Sessions include trauma resolution and the strengthening of family bonds. LOSS works to help children develop age appropriate understandings of the loss, develop appropriate coping skills, and regain a sense of security in the family.