GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. Studies show that one in five kids will experience the death of someone close to them before they graduate high school. In light of that, dozens recognized National Children's Grief Awareness Day on Thursday.
In Mesa County, several grief groups gathered at local schools to reflect and share stories about their experience with death. Most people are wearing the color blue to show support and compassion for others going through the loss of a loved one. Kids were given blue bracelets and posters to pass out at school to spread awareness.
HopeWest, formerly Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, offers a program called HopeWest kids.
The program is aimed to support kids and teens going through grief. Last year, Hopewest Kids offered grief groups for more than 700 kids, the majority of them from Mesa, Montrose and Delta Counties.
Professional Counselor for HopeWest, Jonie Beckner, said, "What the kids learn about the grief process through a death loss can be transferred over to all kinds of different losses that we experience in life so they learn ways of managing loss and grief."
HopeWest Kids also has some tips about how you can help grieving children and teens. They recommend answering questions clearly and accurately, share your own grief and help them find a peer support group. They said unsolved grief can turn into behavior and communication problems.