FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
P.U.N.T. PARTNERS WITH ERIE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF MENTAL HEALTH
TO PRESENT GRIEF TRAINING & CHILD LOSS SYMPOSIUM TO WNY
TRAINERS FROM INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED DOUGY CENTER: THE NATIONAL GRIEF
CENTER & FOR CHILDREN & FAMILIES TO LEAD EFFORTS ON MAY 19 & 20
Buffalo, NY— Loss of a loved one is life’s most stressful event and 100% of us will experience it. The bereaved are at greater risk of depression, anxiety, and detrimental physiological effects that can become life-threatening through disruption of the immune system, self-neglect, and suicidal thoughts. Recognizing the importance of providing the best possible education and support for those in our community facing grief and loss, P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative, through partnership with the Erie County Department of Mental Health, will
present two important efforts to bring the expertise of Dougy Center: The National Grief Center for Children & Families to Western New York. Based in Portland, Oregon, the Dougy Center was founded in 1982 and is a considered a “gold standard” and pioneer of grief support. Their model has been replicated in over 500 sites throughout the world.
On Friday, May 19, Dougy Center trainers and international experts Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT and Dr. Monique Mitchell will present Grief-Informed Best Practices: Supporting WNY Families Through Loss. This one-day bereavement training for 100 professionals and practitioners who interface with the bereaved population will explore the fundamentals of grief education and how to best support individuals who are grieving.
On Saturday, May 20, Dr. Mitchell will be joined by Greg Adams, Coordinator of The Center for Good Mourning at Arkansas Children’s Hospital to serve as keynote speakers and facilitators for: Carrying Grief: A Symposium for WNY Bereaved Parents. This one-day event will deliver tools of support to WNY parents who have suffered child loss, as well as offer facilitated breakout sessions based on origin of loss to build up peer support networks. This symposium will take place at the M Hotel Buffalo (formerly Millennium) located at 2040 Walden Avenue in Cheektowaga from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. This free event is open to bereaved parents by registering through the events tab at www.puntpediatriccancer.org or by calling 716-755-PUNT but slots are limited.
“For the last decade, we have seen the power and importance of serving families who have lost a child to cancer and have made it an important part of our mission,” said Gwen Mysiak, Executive Director who established the organization’s “Ultimate Compassion” program in 2013. “We have seen this support become a true lifeline to those facing worst case scenario. We are honored to be working in partnership with Erie County to expand the impact of our efforts beyond our population to address an important need in our community.”
“Given the trauma of grief and loss experienced in our community in the last year, this training and symposium will be an invaluable resource for those looking to help others or themselves,” said Erie County Mental Health Commissioner Mark O’Brien. “For those who have suffered the loss of a loved one, particularly a child, this symposium will be a source of knowledge, comfort and healing. We are proud to be part of this valuable initiative.”
Funding for these efforts presented by P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative has been provided by: Erie County Department of Mental Health, Rich Family Foundation, Hospice’s Wilson Support Center, Courage of Carly Fund, and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo Foundation.
About P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative:
P.U.N.T. Pediatric Cancer Collaborative is a 501(c)(3) that provides families in Western New York facing pediatric cancer with program that offer financial, practical, and emotional support from diagnosis to recovery and bereavement. P.U.N.T. operates with collaboration and guidance from community hospital partners to ensure that every dollar raised gets channeled where it is most needed.
About Dougy Center:
Founded in 1982 in Portland, Oregon, Dougy Center started the first peer grief support groups for children, and has become a world-renowned model for bereavement support known as The Dougy Center Model. Dougy Center Trainer Bios:
Donna L. Schuurman, EdD, FT, is an internationally recognized authority on grief and bereaved children, teens, and families. She has been interviewed as an expert on grief by The New York Times, USA Today, and many other publications. She’s worked directly with families and communities impacted by large-scale tragedies including the Oklahoma City bombing, Japan’s Great Hanshin Earthquake, the 9/11 Attacks, and Sandy Hook school shootings.
Dr. Monique Mitchell is a nationally recognized authority on children, teens, and families who are grieving. She has trained and researched extensively on topics related to the lived experience of children and youth in the foster care system, taught undergraduate and graduate courses on loss and grief, and developed childcentered curricula to serve children who are grieving.
Media Contact: To register for Child Loss Symposium:
Gwen Mysiak www.puntpediatriccancer.org
Executive Director 716-755-PUNT