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AlisonBrill Posted by Alison T. Brill, MPH, Community Suicide Prevention Coordinator at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.



For over 13 years, Comfort Zone Camp has helped thousands of young people grieve, heal and grow. Comfort Zone Camp (CZC) is a nonprofit bereavement camp that transforms the lives of children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver. The free camps include confidence building programs and age-based support groups that break the emotional isolation grief often brings. Comfort Zone Camps are offered to children 7-17 and young adults ages 19-25, and are held year-round across the Country. There are offices in California, New Jersey, Virginia, and fortunately for us, here in Massachusetts.


Comfort Zone provides grieving children with a voice, a place and a community in which to heal, grow and lead more fulfilling lives. Comfort Zone envisions a world where grieving children are not forgotten or left to grieve alone, and are supported by a wide community that understands and appreciates them. Comfort Zone provides a place where bereaved kids and teens can break the isolation a death often brings, build lasting friendships, and learn coping skills for their daily lives. Mixed in with traditional camp fun, children and teens participate in age-based support groups, where they can share their story and receive validation from peers.


Below is a clip about CZC:  




Because grief can be more complicated with a death by suicide, CZC has partnered with Samaritans, Inc. and the MA Department of Public Health Suicide Prevention Program for the past two years to provide a specialized one-day program for kids and teens who have suffered the loss of a parent, sibling, or primary caregiver by suicide. There is also a separate Parent/Guardian Program held at the same time and location, so parents can be part of their own and their children’s healing. A parent of camper who attended last year expressed that, “The camp helped tremendously because she got to be with people who feel about as close to the way she feels as humanly possible.”


This specialized camp offers an important and powerful space for connection with others who have gone through similar experiences, and a place where friendships are formed, and healing happens on an individual and community level. CZC is a life-changing experience for youth and families. One teen camper, who lost a father to suicide, expressed that, “Going here was the best thing that ever happened to me.”



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