Highmark Caring Place Helps Those Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

WQED Multimedia provides additional support to help grieving children

Dec 21, 2010, 18:17 ET from Highmark Caring Place

PITTSBURGH, Dec. 21, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- When children experience the death of a loved one, it is hard to know how best to support them in their grief and loss, and the holiday season is a particularly difficult time. This year, thanks to the Highmark Caring Place, Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit educational organization behind the Sesame Street television series on PBS, and WQED Multimedia in Pittsburgh, more than 500 schools in Pennsylvania are receiving a special resource kit, When Families Grieve.

"When a loved one dies, every day is difficult, and the holidays can intensify feelings of grief," said Terese Vorsheck, Highmark Caring Place director. "Along with WQED and Sesame Workshop, the Caring Place is able to extend its hand of service to those in need by providing kits to all Pennsylvania schools that participate in our Caring Team activities."

An example of iQ-smart media, WQED's new educational initiative, the project represents a way to use media in a positive way with children. When Families Grieve features a half-hour Sesame Street show during which Elmo and his cousin work out ways to come to terms with the death of Elmo's uncle. Intercut with this story are interviews with children from two different families about the deaths of a parent. An additional piece on the DVD is a special half-hour of Katie Couric interviewing these same families in greater depth, along with several other families, about their experiences of losing a loved one.

"WQED has for over 50 years, invested in children's health and well being. Our relationship with Highmark Caring Place is a natural extension of our commitment to children this time in the arena of grief and loss," says Jennifer Stancil, executive director of educational partnerships at WQED.

Although this resource tool was initially made available only to schools participating in Caring Team activities of the Caring Place, a limited number of additional kits are available to the public. The Caring Place also has a variety of other online resources and tools to help children and families cope with grief during the holiday season on its website, www.highmarkcaringplace.com or by calling 1-888-224-HOPE (4673).  

A signature partner of Highmark Healthy High 5, an initiative of the Highmark Foundation, the Caring Place is also supported by community contributions.

SOURCE Highmark Caring Place