Radiant Love Supports… Stepping Stones of Hope (Sept. 09)

Stepping Stones of Hope is an organization that assists families in the grieving process after the loss of a loved one.  They provide a first steps program in the initial months following the loss and then encourage members to attend Camp Paz (Peace) about 5-6 months later.  Camp Paz attendees are then offered the opportunity to attend After Camp Family Support Groups to help them continue in their journey of healing.

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The First Steps Program….

provides grieving families support during the early months of the grief process when the death may not yet seem real. Support at this stage is very important and can be very different from what is needed several months later. The First Steps program closes the gap between the time of the actual loss and the time that has been identified as the most beneficial period to address an individual’s thoughts and feelings as the adjustment to the loss takes place.

Camp Paz for Kids….
is a program designed to give children whose lives have been interrupted by the death of a loved one, who may be struggling with their feelings, an opportunity to be around others who are living the same experience. Camp Paz helps participants build self esteem, reduce feelings of guilt, reduce anxiety about showing feelings of grief, diminish the profound sense of isolation and loneliness, decrease fear by understanding the causes of death, diminish fears that loved ones will be forgotten, teach healthy coping skills, help them to understand that everyone grieves differently and to increase friendships with peers who share the common experience of the death of a loved one.
Camp Paz for Kids provide a safe place for these children to express themselves. Through art, equestrienne therapy, music, role-playing, and a lot of talking and laughing, kids learn about death and dying. And, they learn how to begin to cope. At the same time nearby, adult family members are learning too, exploring their grief through journaling, music, art, self-care, relaxation and dialogue. And they discover ways they can best support the children who share their loss.

Camp Paz for Grown ups….
is similar to Camp Paz for kids in that adults focus on their own grief journey. After working on their own needs, they then transition into how to best help the grieving children in their life. For many adults, this program provides the first opportunity to focus on there unique feelings without worrying about their children, or worrying about how children may respond to a display of emotions. The majority of adult participants forge indescribable bonds with other participants, and many have formed significant friendships.

After Camp Family Support Groups….
follow Camp Paz to help continue the healing. Groups are open to any family who participated in the previous weekend program, and they are facilitated as a family unit. Each session builds upon the other, and each are designed to build family cohesion, promote mutual respect, and encourage open and honest dialogue all which ultimately strengthen the family unit.

Community action…
is very important to Stepping Stones of Hope.  They partners with other organizations to create the Grief at School & Grief at Work programs to educate personnel on how to help grieving individuals.  Stepping Stones of Hope also puts on a grief & bereavement conference for 2,000 members of the Arizona community annually.  In addition to all of that, Stepping Stones of Hope also partners with schools in the Maricopa County School district to offer mini grief camps on participating school campuses for both adults and children.

Goals of Stepping Stones of Hope programs include:
1. Teach about four dimensions of grief: physical, spiritual, mental and emotional.
2. Help participants build self-esteem.
3. Reduce feelings of guilt and anxiety about showing feelings of grief.
4. Teach skills to help diminish profound sense of isolation and loneliness.
5. Introduce healthy coping skills and appropriate ways to cope with anger.
6. Increase participant’s understanding about causes of death.
7. Eliminate fears that loved ones will be forgotten.
8. Help participants understand that everyone’s grief is unique.
9. Increase friendships with peers who share a common experience.
10. Introduce Worden’s Four Tasks of Grief for adults, and Goldman’s Four Psychological Tasks for children.

Visit Stepping Stone of Hope’s website to learn more about the organization.

To find out more about Radiant Love Supports click here.

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