Executive Director of the Dougy Center for Grieving Children, Dr. Donna Schuurman, talks with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) about resources for children facing a loss. She’s joined by Pamela Gabbay, part of the National Alliance for Grieving Children. The two work closely with children who have experienced loss through death. They provide national resources and connect those looking for information with those who need information. Gabbay serves on the board of the Alliance, and works at the Morning Star Center in Palm Desert, California.

The National Alliance is a membership organization which can be accessed by individuals, organizations, parents, schools, and more. It’s a resource center, connecting people to articles, books, statistics, and other data or programming around the nation that serves children and teens. Losing a family member or friend to death at a young age is a unique challenge.

Finding Support

Online, you can find local resources via the Alliance. Finding a service for children, especially in rural areas, can feel like an overwhelming process. The membership is open to grief professionals working with teens and families, too. As an adult who’s charged with helping a child or teen heal, you need as much support as you can get. There’s often much more help available than people think. To join, simply visit the website, complete the form, and you’ll be instantly connected to a myriad of resources.

The National Alliance also has a national conference, with about 300 people attending each year. This is where you can get more information on how to help grieving children, as well as connect with others who empathize with you. Knowing where the support is begins the process and helps you know you’re not alone.


Pamela Gabbay

Pamela Gabbay, M.A., FT, was awarded the Fellow in Thanatology by the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) and is a Certified Bereavement Counselor. She earned her B.A. in Psychology from California State University, San Bernardino and her M.A. in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University. Pamela is the Program Director of The Mourning Star Center for Grieving Children in Palm Desert, California and works extensively with grieving children, teens and their families. For more information, please visit www.mourningstar.org. In 2008, Pamela and the Mourning Star Center were featured on the National Hospice Foundation of America’s Bereavement Teleconference Living with Grief: Children and Adolescents. Pamela is the Camp Director for Camp Erin - Palm Springs, the first Camp Erin in California. Camp Erin is a free camp for grieving children and teens created in partnership with The Moyer Foundation. Pamela is also President of the California Chapter of the Association for Death Education and Counseling. ADEC So Cal is an organization dedicated to promoting excellence in death education. She is on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance for Grieving Children. Additionally, she is co-owner of www.GriefPosters.com a poster company that produces sensitive and educational grief-related posters. Pamela appeared on the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart with Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, to discuss Adult Children Losing Parents. To hear Pamela being interviewed on this show, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley111308.mp

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