What is HUUG?
What parents said about HUUG...
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Many adults feel apprehensive or unprepared to speak to young people about illness, dying, and death, often due to a desire to protect them from the pain of grief. However, children have expressed their desire to be informed about a family member’s diagnosis, treatment, prognosis, end-of-life care, and death. Many children and youth wished to be told the truth as fully and as soon as possible, to be included in rituals following a death, and to be recognized as grievers alongside adults.
Communicating with children about dying, death, and grief can be very challenging, but having honest, early, and open communication can benefit a child by:
- Making illness, death, and grief a safe, rather than taboo, subject
- Reducing the likelihood of hearing the news accidentally or from people less informed
- Lessening the likelihood of imagining scenarios that leave them more anxious and fearful
- Inviting children to ask questions and be open with people they trust
- Helping children understand the physical or emotional changes they may be seeing
- Inviting them to think about how they would like to be involved with the person who is ill or dying
- Giving children the chance to say goodbye in a way that is right for them
For more information on the benefits of facilitating early and honest conversations with grieving children, please visit: www.kidsgrief.ca
Our HUUG counsellors provide support to:
- Families living in Peel (Brampton, Mississauga, Malton) and Halton (Georgetown, Acton, Milton, Oakville, Burlington)
- Children aged 0-18 years old
- Children who have a family member who has a serious or terminal illness
- All bereaved children and families, regardless of the time since the death
- Referrals from any source, including self-referrals.
- Children with a serious or terminal illness
Our HUUG Counsellors work in the home of the grieving child, youth and family. The average number of visits they provide is 6-8 but the number of visits and schedule will be planned with focus on child and families needs.
- Have open, honest, and age appropriate conversations with the child
- Understand grief, illness, dying and death
- Identify and express feelings
- Address worries and fears
- Express hope and wishes
- Identify support systems
- Develop coping strategies
- Create memories and legacy projects
- Live with and adapt to their new normal
Ally is a HUUG counsellor at Heart House Hospice. Ally works with our families in Mississauga, Milton, Malton and Oakville. Ally is an Early Childhood Educator and a Certified Child Life Specialist. Ally also has her Master’s in Education. Ally uses books, games and art to address and discuss the big topics and feelings that illness, dying and death raise.
Kimberly is a HUUG counsellor at Heart House Hospice. Kimberly supports our families in Acton, Brampton, Burlington and Georgetown. Kimberly has a BA in Psychology and Child and Youth Studies, an ECE diploma and a MC in Counselling Psychology. Kimberly is a Registered Psychotherapist, a Certified Child and Youth Worker, and a Certified Play Therapist. Kimberly has created and learned numerous different ways to engage and help children, teens and families to identify, talk and share on some very tough topics.