Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is July. The death of a child has been described as the worst pain one can possibly endure. For friends and family, knowing what to say or do for a grieving parent is difficult. Bereaved Parents Awareness Month is a time to learn what to do in the most challenging times. At Central Wyoming Counseling Center, we encourage people to reach out to bereaved parents and their families by giving them someone who will listen to them without advising them; a shoulder to cry on; and a hug when appropriate and needed. Basically, we want to inspire people to "be there" for the bereaved.

According to research, bereaved mothers and fathers experience more physical and emotional issues than do non-bereaved parents including: severe depression, mortality due to illness, suicide and failed marriages.

Grief is a normal and natural reaction to the death of a loved one, but when it is your child's death that you are grieving, the reaction can be more intense and devastating. Each year the parents of over 53,000 U.S. children face the unthinkable tragedy of losing their child through death. An encouraging finding is that most bereaved parents found support through their family and community. Over 85 percent of these parents said that family, coworkers and friends were helpful to them following their loss of a child.

The extent, the intensity and the need for professional help depends upon the degree of problems and coping resources these parents have acquired prior to their loss. Individuals interested in helping bereaved parents recover are encouraged to engage them in constructive and rewarding activities which produce a sense of meaning and well-being.

This July, join CWCC, health professionals, friends and family members, to embrace those who have lost their child during Bereaved Parents Awareness Month. Central Wyoming Counseling Center offers services specific to the needs of the bereaved, including grief and loss counseling. For anyone bereaved — you, a member of your family or a friend — it is essential to know where to get help. Our website, www.cwcc.us, is a great place to start.

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