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Help and Information for Grieving Teens:

Hot Lines:


2NDFLOOR: a youth helpline serving 21 counties in NJ. Youth can call a toll free number: 1-888-222-2228 and talk about such issues as:  coping with the aftermath of divorce, living with a disability, dealing with grief, fears about gang violence, concerns over bullying, issues related to sexuality, worries about family conflicts, questions about drug and alcohol abuse, experiencing racism, problems in peer and dating relationships and more.  There is a message board as well to post questions:  www.2NDFLOOR.org 

Scarlet Listeners: free and confidential peer counseling and referral, Rutgers affiliated hotline

(732-247-5555)   Website: www.scarletlisteners.org                                    email:  Scarlet_listeners@hotmail.rutgers.edu 


Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide www.sptsnj.org    Great site with lots of information about suicide prevention for teens, parents and educators. 


Girls and Boys Town National Hot Line

(800) 448-3000


National Suicide Hot-line

Your call will be routed to the closest service to you.

1-800-SUICIDE (784-2433)


Chat Rooms:

The Compassionate Friends

TCF assists families toward positive resolution of grief following the death of a child of any age and provides information to help others be supportive.


Internet Radio:

Healing the Grieving Heart: an Internet radio show dedicated to those who have lost loved ones. Broadcasts live every Thursday at noon. Shows are archived on www.opentohope.com 

The Dougy Center: features the Bill of Rights for Grieving Teens

Hospice Net: helps teens with grief due to life threatening illnesses Net: helps teens with grief due to life threatening illnesses


SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education) support groups for survivors.

What we call
the beginning
is often the end.
And to make an end
is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from.  
T.S. Elliot
Four Quartets 
When your broken heart mends, you will no longer be the same. 
 You will never be the same again. You will be stronger.   June Cerza Kolf   Teenagers Talk About Grief

Creating your own support network:
Some of our friends are great supports when we are upset or sad while others are able to handle our angry feelings. Think of support as a network or system instead of just one or two other people in your life. Support networks can be made up of people, places and things.  Since grief affects our entire being it helps to find support for our physical, emotional and social needs. Here are some questions that can let you know if you have a good enough support system or if you need to build one or enlarge your network.  Many teens turn to safe adults to help them grow their support network. Many teens tell me these adults may be counselors at school, a parent (yours or someone else's) or even an older sibling or friend.
My Support Network:
1. List 3 people who I feel comfortable to talk to: (I encourage all of you to find someone in the school building as well since you are there all day and often grief hits while at school. There are counselors, school nurses, teachers, and others who you can talk to). 
_____________________________________________  Phone #
___________________________________________________________________________________  Phone #
___________________________________________________________________________________Phone #
2. Name two places I can go to that helps me to feel comfortable and safe: (try to locate a place in your own living space and one outside your living space).
3.  Name three things that I can do to let my anger and frustration out and three people I can call or be with. (things that can not hurt myself, others or property).
4.  Name three things I can do to let my sad feelings out and three people I can call or be with:
5.  Name three things I can do that helps me let off steam or relieves my stress and tension:
6.  Name 3 things I can do when life feels meaningless- when I might feel hopeless and/or helpless:
7.  List 3 activities I can do that will help me to express your feelings:  Some teens write, draw, hit pillows, nap, cry, sing, play music, play video games, write songs, journal, play a sport, work, pound nails, volunteer with younger kids or older people, fish, cook, go to the gym, go for a run, write letters, paint, do physical work, join a support group, call a hot line, .....
8.  Name three things that are helpful in getting my mind off of my grief and loss:  it is important to take grief breaks
9. List some things that I did when you were younger that helped you through a difficult time or situation:
10.  List the names of some songs I can play:
To help me feel good: _________________________________________________________________
To help me feel cared about and loved ____________________________________________________
To help me feel understood ______________________________________________________________
To help me with memories of my loss:________________________________________________________ 
(Adapted from the book:  Facing Change:) 

Helpful Books for Teens Facing Loss and Grief
When a Friend Dies, Teens Talk about Grieving and Healing  by Marilyn Gootman
The Grieving Teen:  A Guide for Teenagers and Their Friends  by Helen Fitzgerald
You are Not Alone: Teens Talk about Life after the Loss of a Parent: by Lynne Hughes (founder of Comfort Zone Camp, www.comfortzonecamp.org )  a wonderful support for kids 7-17 who have lost a parent, sibling or other important person through death. Lynne lost both her parents by the time she was 14 years old. She is amazing and shows up at each CZC weekend, which now takes place in 5 states, NJ included. 
Grief Girl: True story about a girl who lost both her parents when she was in high school. Great read for a teen who has lost a parent. Teens have given this book the thumbs up for me to recommend it to others.  
Teen Grief Relief: by Dr., Horsely and Dr. Horesly (mother and daughter therapists who had lost a son/brother when the daughter was in her early 20's)
Facing Change: Falling Apart and Coming Together Again in the Teen Years: A book about Loss and Change for Teens by Donna O'Toole   
Still Here With Me: Teenagers and Children on Losing a Parent:   Edited by Suzanne Sjoqvst  Translated by Margaret Myers
Letters to a Bullied Girl: Messages of Healing and Hope by Olivia Gardner  

The Empty Room: Understanding Sibling Loss  by Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn   "a must read for anyone who has lost a brother or sister." 

(973) 985-4503