Carolyn Zahnow is the founder and executive director of The Shore Grief Center located in Wake Forest, North Carolina. The Shore, a nonprofit 501c3 organization, provides peer-based grief support groups for kids, teens, and adults. Carolyn started her recovery journey after her only child, Cameron, died by suicide in 2005 while they were living in Texas. After his death, she researched all the things that might cause a teen to want to end his life. From this research she wrote, "Save the Teens: Preventing Suicide, Depression and Addiction" in 2010. In 2008, she formed a support group for others who had lost someone to suicide. A similar group in Texas helped her tremendously after Cameron died so she wanted to provide a group for those who lived near her new home in North Carolina. A few years later, she remembered that Cameron's depression seemed to appear after his dad died when he was 15 years old. Carolyn took him to therapists, a psychologist, and psychiatrist but to no avail; the depression remained. He turned to drugs and alcohol and ultimately became addicted to meth, his drug of choice. Even after rehab, he returned to meth about six months later. Carolyn wonders now if Cameron had been offered a grief support group after his father’s death, if he would have conquered his grief on better terms and still be alive today. After attending a National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, she was urged by others to start a nonprofit and expand to helping kids and teens. The Shore Grief Center was incorporated in 2012 and hasn't slowed down since. The Shore offers groups in schools and churches as well as grief seminars for the public. Carolyn enjoys sharing her story of recovery and speaks at PTA meetings, colleges, conferences, and public events. She has been featured in newspaper articles, radio interviews and a special on WRAL-TV about teen suicide. Carolyn lives in Youngsville, North Carolina with her husband, Dan, and their dog, Sheila. She has no other children. theshoregriefcenter.org
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