What we provide
At Crocus Highland, we aim to:
- Help children and young people to understand and express their grief in individual ways
- Provide bereaved children and young people with an opportunity to meet other bereaved children and young people
- Help children, young people and families to find positive ways of remembering the person who died
- Educate children, young people and their families about the grief process
- Help people to talk openly about death and bereavement
- Help restore confidence and self-esteem in bereaved children and young people
Crocus Highland works on a referral system. We accept referrals from anyone, but ask that the child and parents/carers are aware of the referral. If you have any queries about making a referral, please contact us via email or phone. Referrals may be made online or you may print out a paper copy, fill it in and send it to us.
It is unlikely that we would provide direct support to children and young people very soon after the death. Several months are usually needed for children and young people to be able to accept the reality of the loss and adjust to 'a new normal'. Only after this time has passed is it usually possible to identify whether there are concerns about how a child or young person is managing their grief.
Once an initial family assessment visit has taken place we can suggest any appropriate next steps.
Any direct support is usually provided in our Inverness office. Our support mostly takes the form of creative, hands-on activities where children can express their innermost thoughts freely and begin to make sense of what has happened. We are also continuing to provide support through telephone and zoom where appropriate.
We can also provide consultancy and advice to schools and other groups in the Highland area.
5-8 year olds
The main provision for this age group is a Day to Remember. This is an opportunity for children to get together to share experiences and talk about the person who has died.
Days to Remember are held throughout the year and involve a programme of activities suited to the age and circumstances of each child.
We aim to:
- Provide the child with an opportunity to meet other bereaved children
- Give the child the opportunity to accept the reality of death
- Educate about the grief process
- Acknowledge the different feelings which children may experience
- Facilitate the child’s understanding about what has happened
For this age group of bereaved children, one of the most important things is ensuring that support is given within the family and wider support network of school and community. We aim to help parents, carers and other supportive adults in the child's life to feel confident and equipped in helping their child manage their grief. This can involve visits to our office, conversations over the phone and provision of appropriate books and resources.
9-12 year olds
Depending on the bereavement support needs assessed through the introductory assessment visit/discussions with parents, carers and other supportive adults in the child's life, we may offer:
- A Day to Remember - a special remembrance day in which small groups of children share their experiences and make memories of the person who died (as above)
- A 6- to 8-week group programme, after which children are encouraged to use the 'toolkit' of resources they've built up for themselves to manage their grief. Parents and carers are welcome to use the kitchen space for tea, coffee and conversation whilst these sessions are running.
- A block of one-to-one bereavement support sessions may be offered if assessed to be appropriate and needed. However, the majority of bereaved children benefit most from participating in a group context.
13 years +
Our teen's group uses a youth work approach to empower young people to take the lead in managing their loss in healthy ways. The young people are encouraged to set the agenda and build supportive peer relationships. They can decide how much of their own personal experience they share with the group and when. A recent group have developed a bereavement education resource to share with teachers and other support staff, aiding them to learn how to respond helpfully to a bereaved young person. We are excited to be able to offer this resource to staff teams in Highland!
A block of one-to-one bereavement support sessions may be offered if assessed to be appropriate and needed. However, the majority of young people benefit most from participating in a group context.
We hold a drop-in Youth Cafe each month which is available to any young person aged 12-18 who has an active referral with us, as an informal opportunity for young people to connect with others their age who have been bereaved.
After bereavement support
Once a child or young person has completed their time with Crocus, it is worth keeping up with our website and Facebook page for information on any community or open events that we may be running throughout the year.
Bereavement support needs may change as a child matures and develops. In the event of further concerns in the future, a child or young person can always be re-referred to Crocus up until their 18th birthday. You are welcome to get in touch by phone or email if you are unsure whether a re-referral is necessary.