Many bereaved families lose their community after the death of a loved one, often out of people feeling uncomfortable around grief. Families also feel lost as to how best to support their children through grief.
Our Lionheart community provides families with the opportunity to connect with others who really understand what it is like to experience grief. Our programs bring families with shared experiences together, creating a connected, compassionate and caring community where grief is seen as a natural, healthy and normal response to loss.
Lionheart Camp for Kids was born from the experiences of our Founder & CEO, Shelly Skinner, and her colleagues at Princess Margaret Hospital and Perth Children’s Hospital. These dedicated senior palliative care social workers identified that children who experience the death of a parent or a sibling, where the death is not caused by cancer, receive little to no support to help manage their grief.
Since 2015, Lionheart has been seeking to address this unmet need to ensure that all families in our community have the opportunity to receive the bereavement education and grief support they need.
Beyond creating an opportunity for grieving families to connect, we know that good bereavement care minimises the long term adverse consequences for children, such as poorer outcomes in education, employment, physical and mental health. We aim to do this through:
- Helping children and parents understand the process of grief
- Normalising the grief process for children and increasing their awareness of loss as a natural part of living
- Helping children identify with a spectrum of emotions associated with the death of a parent or sibling
- Sharing and expressing emotions in a healthy way
- Providing the opportunity to connect with other children experiencing the death of a sibling or parent
- Strengthening parents’ knowledge and skills in how to support their grieving children