FORT MYERS, Fla. – March 24, 2020 – Valerie’s House, a non-profit organization in Southwest Florida with its sole mission to help children grieve, is launching virtual grief support groups for children and adult caregivers. Using a secure and HIPAA compliant platform, the virtual support groups will be available to all children and families in the Valerie’s House program starting Monday, March 30.
Due to restrictions brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, Valerie’s House families are not able to meet in-person for their regularly scheduled grief support group sessions. Valerie’s House locations in Fort Myers and Naples are currently closed to the public. However, staff members are working remotely to keep families connected to each other and to Valerie’s House during these uncertain times.
“Grief can be such an isolating experience by itself,” said Angela Melvin, Founder and CEO of Valerie’s House. “New protocols keeping families from group gatherings have our children and families feeling even more alone and anxious. These groups will allow children to stay in touch with their friends and with the Valerie’s House team for ongoing support.”
Children and caregivers will meet on their regularly scheduled grief support night on the virtual platform, for the easiest transition. The peer support groups will be led by the trained group facilitator the children and families are already comfortable with and trust. Valerie’s House is also providing grief support activities for children to work on with their families at home.
In addition to providing virtual grief support groups, Valerie’s House has launched a weekly e-newsletter to families and is focusing its efforts on connecting families with additional resources in the community that are available to help them during this time.
Valerie’s House is accepting appointments for new enrollments. Families in need of grief support for children can reach Program Director Amy Strom by phone at 239-841-9186 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Valerie’s House
As the first and only organization in Southwest Florida with the sole mission of helping children grieve, Valerie’s House has helped more than 1,000 children and their families since opening its doors in 2016. Valerie’s House provides a safe, comfortable place to heal together following the death of someone they love. Valerie’s House offers support groups and other activities at a home at 1762 Fowler Street in Fort Myers and a home in Naples at 819 Myrtle Terrace. Valerie’s House also holds group meetings at 1st United Methodist Church in Punta Gorda. Valerie’s House is a United Way partner agency and is fully supported through community donations that can be made online at www.valerieshouseswfl.org or by mail to Valerie’s House, Inc., P.O. Box 1955, Fort Myers, FL 33902.