Peer-based grief support groups for children, teens, families

Joel's Place for Children provides peer-based grief support groups for children, teens and their families who have experienced the death of someone special. The non-denominational groups meet twice monthly on Tuesday evenings during the school year at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village. This is the organization's 20th year providing these services free-of-charge to grieving families in Northeast Ohio.

When families attend, they can expect to meet others with similar experiences. The evening always begins with a pizza dinner from 6:30-7 p.m. where families can arrive, settle in and enjoy dinner together. At 7 p.m. groups separate based on age/developmental level. Currently, the organization has three groups for children (littles, middles and teens) and a group for the caregivers who bring their children to Joel's Place.

Groups are led by trained facilitators who share team-building activities, emotional awareness exercises and discussions through arts and crafts or other avenues to generate community among participants. Groups break at 8:15 p.m. and the families reunite to head home. 

Our 2023-2024 session dates open on Tuesday, Sept. 12. To learn more, visit or call 440-248-4412 or email Please consider sharing Joel's Place with someone you know who might be interested in our services or joining our team of dedicated volunteers.

Becky Verner McDermott

Becky McDermott is Program Director at Joel's Place for Children. She is also a 500-hour Certified Yoga & Meditation Instructor and Grief Support Advocate. She lives in Lakewood and is a proud wife, stepmom and dogmom.

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Volume 15, Issue 12, Posted 8:40 AM, 07.18.2023