Adam’s Place provides support and education for children, teens, and families coping with grief and loss.
Written by Andi Breesha
Photography Courtesy of Adam’s Place
The death of a loved one can be an devastating experience for anyone.
For a child, whose entire involvement in the world is defined by
their connection to a handful of people, the death of one of those people can be isolating, confusing, life-altering… even devastating.
While other family members are overcome with their own experience of grief and loss, children often become forgotten mourners.
We are all about living,” says Board President Kelly Boyers about Adam’s Place. The program, which provides grief support groups for children, teens and families, is named after Boyers’ son whom she lost in a car crash while he was a senior at UNR. Concerned about her surviving child, she learned of a program for childhood grief support in Reno, but could not find a similar program in Las Vegas. Boyers describes the center as a much needed lifeline. “It is about how to take life experiences and move forward; sometimes that includes tears and sometimes it involves laughter.”
The nonprofit was founded 2010 with a grant from a Little Hope Foundation in New York and a donation from the Tony & Renee Marlon Charitable Foundation. Events like 9/11 and the Sandy Hook shootings have underscored the importance of providing support for the children and young families impacted by the unexpected loss of loved ones
in the wake of such tragedies. Studies show that children who receive support within nine months after losing a sibling, parent or primary caregiver have better attendance and have a higher rate of achievement in school than those without support.
Volunteers are a key to the program. About 60% of the volunteers lost a parent when they were a child and the mission of Adam’s Place resonates because many did not have support at their time of loss.
Adam’s Place provides free sessions and there is no set limit on how long a child can participate. Boyers explained that children who experience a loss when they are especially young often remain in the program for a few years as they mature and gain additional verbalization skills. “The younger the child is, the longer they stay and we are there to support them through those transitions.”