Help for young people in difficult times - Article in the WAZ by Julia Witte

Southeast quarter. The loss of a loved one is always a shock and hard to understand, sometimes not at all. All of a sudden life changes abruptly, nothing is like it used to be. Young people in particular often feel alone in this situation, they grieve differently than adults.

Sometimes, after the death of someone, children and young people act as if nothing had happened, don't let their sadness show, or try to suppress the loss. But despite supposed carelessness, a world has collapsed, life seems to get off track. In addition, young, grieving people often feel misunderstood - misunderstood mainly because death is not usually discussed in their circle of friends - who deals with it at a young age?

"Unfortunately, death is still a taboo subject in our society. IT belongs to life, and yes, sometimes even to the life of a young person", says Caren Baesch, who has been a qualified volunteer for almost two years of the outpatient hospice service at the Alfried Krupp hospital Rüttenscheid. In cooperation with this hospice service, Baesch, together with colleague Karin Ricken (in the hospice service since 2004 at the Alfried Krupp hospital), from now on a grief group for young people. "The first open group in this city", as Baesch reports. There is a comprehensive range of services from communities, hospitals or hospices in the Essen city area, but not for young people and young adults. The existing bereavement groups are mainly attended by older people. "Children and young people are out of place there, however. Especially since they deal with completely different fears and worries. If the mother or father dies, young people have to deal with a loss of role, for example", says Baesch and: "We will also provide educational support in our grief group that is specially tailored to the phase of life."

During their work in the hospice service, Baesch and Ricken often received inquiries from young people who were mourning someone. "The need is definitely there", the grief counselor knows. Five young people had already registered for the first meeting on Saturday, 20. September 2014.

The group participants decide for themselves how exactly the one and a half hours in the Weigle House are to be structured. There is no strict program. You can cry, be silent or laugh. If you like, you can just listen or speak out. "The most important thing about these meetings is simply that the mourners realize that they are not alone," explains the grief counselor. Depending on how the group develops, events or excursions can also be organised.

The youth grief group is free and takes place once a month for an hour and a half in the Weigle-Haus at Hohenburgstrasse 96. The next dates will be announced on the website