WelCom July 2019:
David Olivier, Director Catholic Social Services
Many in our community suffer loss and grief in different forms, which often take time to heal and, in some cases, do not quite heal. For young people of school-going age, when a family separates it is often the first time they feel the loss of a loved one or the pain of the absence of a parent.
This period of loss, change and grief can be a time of great confusion, hurt and frustration and a time of fear for the unknown future.
At Catholic Social Services in the Archdiocese of Wellington our Seasons for Growth Programme provides a safe and supportive way to support children as well as adults, by taking them through the programme. While Seasons for Growth is not counselling or therapy it most certainly can help. The programme was developed many years ago and is grounded in research to help people suffering from change, loss or grief to work through a process to help them cope with the effects these situations can have on their lives.
Our Seasons for Growth co-ordinator and companion Trainer, Katrin Eickhorst, provides training for schools to run the programme in the classroom and for parent groups. Karin also trains companions in the parishes and wider community groups to present the programme.
After the earthquake of 2016, several schools and community groups in Kaikōura took up the programme course during 2017 and 2018. The positive feedback from the groups was powerful. Several schools in the region had staff trained as companions to enable them to provide ongoing support to their communities in the years ahead. One teacher said, ‘This was great personal learning as well as professional development for me and has added another dimension to my teaching’.
We have many more schools and community groups that have taken on the training to assist their schools and communities in the Archdiocese.
To become a companion, adults are required to undergo a training course before they can assist their community with the programme. More details about the programmes can be found on our website or by contacting Katrin at Catholic Social Services on (04) 385-8642.
The link to our website is www.wn.catholic.org.nz/archdiocesan-ministries/growing-in-community/grief/seasons-for-growth-2/
David Olivier is Director Catholic Social Services, Suzanne Aubert Compassion Centre, 132 Tory Street, Wellington.