Suzy Yehl Marta

Suzy Yehl Marta, a divorced mother of three sons, gave up the security of her three jobs to do something she knew in her heart had to be done for our youth who were grieving a life-changing loss. She established Rainbows, www.rainbows.org now the world’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to helping families cope with loss. While growing up, Suzy dreamed of being a good wife and mother. She never considered the possibility of divorce, and was devastated when her marriage ended. She was relieved when family and friends told her there was no need to worry about her kids. “They’re resilient. They’ll bounce back,” she was told. But soon Suzy realized her sons were hurting as much as she was. She searched for the type of support that she was receiving as an adult. There was no place accessible for them to talk about what they were feeling. Certainly there was therapy available, which she tried. At the end of the counseling session, she was advised not to return. The therapist said they were just fine adjusting to their loss. But he never told them how to do it. What Suzy learned later was that they were all grieving the death of their nuclear family. In addition, her sons needed to be with other children their age going through the same experiences so they could understand their feelings. Working with other concerned single parents, Suzy began organizing weekend retreats for children in single-parent and step-family homes. In three years, more than 800 youth benefited from the retreats. After hearing their stories, Suzy was compelled to do more. She began working on a formal curriculum- the foundation of Rainbows. Rainbows has served nearly 2 million youth throughout the U.S. and 16 countries. Now the nation’s largest not-for-profit organization dedicated solely to helping families cope with loss.

http://www.rainbows.org

Articles:

Why Grief is NOT a Mental Illness, 01 Apr 2012

Helping Children Cope with Grief during the Holiday Season, 02 Nov 2011

Osama bin Laden’s Death: Tips for Talking with Your Child, 05 May 2011

OTH Writer Challenges Time Magazine Article on Grief, 18 Mar 2011

Oldest Edwards Daughter May Have the Toughest Journey, 14 Dec 2010

Children Without Grief Support May Turn to Bullying, 07 Jul 2010

Haiti’s Children Need Emotional Support after Quake, 19 Mar 2010

Seven Ways to Make Holidays Meaningful for Children After a Loss, 02 Nov 2009

Youth Violence Often the Result of Traumatic Losses, 03 Sep 2009

Children React to a Divorce Much Like They Do to a Death, 21 Aug 2009

Being a Successful Single Dad, 02 Jul 2009