Launched in 1996, over 200,000 children and young people have experienced Seasons for Growth programs, in addition to thousands of adults, in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Ireland and Peru.
Seasons for Growth is an innovative grief and loss education program that uses the metaphor of the seasons to illustrate the experience of grief. It strengthens the social and emotional wellbeing of adults, children and young people (aged 6-18) who are dealing with significant life changes by:
• Exploring the impact of change and loss on every-day life
• Learning new ways to respond to those changes
Trained adult 'Companions' facilitate each program in small groups. Participants support and learn from each other through conversation and participation in age-appropriate, engaging activities. Participants learn that they are not alone in experiencing the effects of change, loss and grief, and are able to build their communication, decision making and problem solving skills with a supportive peer group.
The Seasons for Growth program helps to normalise participants' grief experiences, increases protective factors (including building personal resilience and social skills), and minimises some risk factors (including isolation) that influence mental health and wellbeing.
It does not provide counselling or therapy.
What people say about Seasons for Growth
"I felt a lot better because I was letting all the pain out. Sometimes in school I'd feel like crying about it, and I nearly cried. Then I just held it in. But when I went to Seasons (for Growth) I could just let it out, and talk about it. I didn't need to cry because I could talk about it" (Matt, 9).
"Having other people with the same problem to talk to has really helped" (Antonio, 12).
"My life has got worse but what Seasons for Growth has done is help me come to terms with it all. I cope a lot better. No matter how bad things get, I now have somebody I trust to talk to" (Emma 16).
"I'd like to think my son wasn't affected by the divorce but I know he was. The program has helped him to know that it happens in other families too" (Parent)
"The Seasons for Growth training has helped me to realise the impact that change and loss can have on a kid's behaviour at school" (Teacher)