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January 2010: Been speaking in many schools to students K -12 on Healthy Ways to Cope with Grief, Loss and Other Tough Stuff.
The students truly enjoy my presentation. After a program at Avenel Middle School yesterday a group of 6th graders told me that I "rocked". Pretty good compliment I think. I am teaching these students about asking for help, who to turn to in difficult times, how to calm themselves down a bit, how to cope with anger, sadness, loneliness, guilt, depression and more. I teach them about true depression and anxiety and explain how people need help from those who are knowledgable about those things, such as counselors, much like they would go to your soccer coach to get help with soccer. I have been loving being in the classrooms and truly feel as though I am making a difference in the lives of many. If a few children wind up not turning to substances, alcohol, cutting, eating disorders or other unhealthy coping attempts, then I have done my work well. I teach them about other healthy ways to cope and bring in many things to show them and let them try out for themselves. I also bring books, web sites and helplines for them to turn to in times of need.
December 09: Lisa spoke to many high school students at various high schools in NJ about Coping with Transitions, Grief and Loss. Lisa always leaves students feeling that her message made a difference in many lives.
November 09: Lisa spoke at various colleges and universities to students about in the fields of education, special education and substance abuse counseling about supporting future students K-12 through losses and grief. Among the universities she spoke at were: FDU, Kean and Seton Hall.
Lisa is quite involved serving on the Traumatic Loss Coalitions for Youth and the Lead Response Team for Union, Essex and Middlesex Counties in NJ.
Lisa has been taking a lot of continuing education in the areas of grief, trauma, youth suicide as well as suicide from different cultural perspectives.
Speaking at several schools to the guidance departments as well as special services has been quite rewarding as well. Schools include places such as: Belleville, Teaneck, Delbarton and more.
January 10, 09: Lisa received training through Comfort Zone Camp to become a counselor at this free camp for children who have lost a sibling or parent through death. ( www.comfortzonecamp.org )
February 2009: Lisa is took an on-line course on : Caring for Children and Families: Providing Psychosocial and Spiritual Assistance through The National Center for Death Education.
January 28,29,30: Lisa was trained for the Union County Traumatic Loss Coalition for Youth, (MACY training in traumatic loss)
Part II: School Protocol when dealing with Homicide and Suicide : February 26, 27, 2009.
Lisa Athan was recently video taped on local assess channel 36 out of West Orange NJ . The name of the program that is aired in West Orange and nearby communities is called, Let's Communicate about Issues that Affect the Family. Lisa spoke about grief and loss in the lives of children and teens.
Lisa will be an all day presenter at Kean University on April 17th for the New Jersey School Counselors Association Spring Conference. She is presenting on children, teens, grief and loss as it pertains to the school counselor. Topics to be discussed: when a parent is ill, when a parent has died, parents going through divorce, incarceration and the affect on children, immigration and loss issues and self injurious behaviors and other harmful coping attempts used by youth to deal with their grief.
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On November 14th, Lisa was called into Blessed Pope John XXIII Academy an elementary school in West Orange. A beloved first grade teacher had just died suddenly and Lisa went in to speak to the boys and girls in the 1st and 2nd grade. Lisa asked the children to tell her about the teacher and what they will remember about her. They loved sharing many details. Lisa found out from them what they think happened and then explained the death in terms they would understand. She also read a book called When Dinasaurs Dieto them and that helped them understand death a bit more. Lisa handed out play doh and let them play with it while they shared. Later they were encouraged to make something out of the playdoh that reminded them of their teacher who died. This was a memorable time for all.
Lisa will be teaching three separate health care lectures at County College of Morris in October and November.These are aimed at health care professionals. The topics are: Bereavement in the School Aged-Child (10/6) with a focus on sudden loss, Beyond Band-aids and Lesson Plans: Self Injury Issues Facing Educators and School Nurses: ( Oct 22) and Grief Across the Life Spectrum: ( 11/5)
Lisa recently spoke to two classes of 10th graders at Kent Place School in Summit. The class was a woman's issues class and Lisa shared with the students some ideas about grief, loss and healthy ways to mourn. There was much sharing and information communicated. This is one of the high-lights of Lisa's work, to speak directly to young people about grief and to give them permission to grieve and mourn their losses.
On Friday Lisa spoke at the Association of Student Assistant Professionals to 90 Student Assistant Professionals who work in schools in Morris County about teen grief.
Lisa presented at the Hands on Health Conference in Monroe on December 8th.
She also spoke at the Essex County SAC meeting on 12/12/08.
Lisa presented at the 2009 NJAHPERD conference February in West Long Branch. (NJ Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance).
Lisa is presenting at the NJ Association of School Counselors in April, 2009 at Kean University.
Grief Speaks www.griefspeaks.com 973-912-0177