Community Talk: “Loss In The Community: How Parents Can Nurture And Support Teens”

In the wake of 2 recent tragedies — the deaths of a freshman student and a high school teacher — over 2 dozen Westporters are sponsoring a talk. It’s set for this Thursday (January 28), 7 p.m. at Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church downtown.

Grief recovery specialist Lisa Athan will speak on “Loss in the Community: What Parents Need to Know to Nurture and Support Their Teenagers.”

Aimed at parents, teachers and practitioners, it will explore thoughtful responses to sudden loss. Athan will discuss how teens cope with and talk about grief, and how to nurture healing in teens and communities after a tragedy.

The purpose is to build open lines of communication and provide resources as a means of encouraging discussion and support in the community. This is planned to be the 1st in a series of conversations.

Athan is executive director and founder of Grief Speaks, and has been trained in post-traumatic stress management. She is co-creator of Camp Clover, a bereavement day camp for children ages 7-15. Athan recently presented at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, following several tragic losses in the student body.


(Sponsors include Stacey Aronson, Bay Street Pediatrics, Lawrence Berliner, Emily Cashman, Causeway Collaborative, Ava Diamond, Faith Filiault, Gerri Fleming, Freudigman & Billings, Francoise Jaffe, Betsey Lebow, Stew Leonard’s, Wendy Levine, Melissa and Paul Levy, Tracy Livecchi, Laura Matefy, Christopher Mills, Kim Ann Oliver, Piper Paul, Recovery Center of Westport, Diane Safran, Frank Safran, Holly Schaff, Anthony Silver, Silver Hill Hospital, Katherine Sullivan, Village Pediatrics, Westport Family Counseling, Westport House and Willows Pediatric Group.)

5 responses to “Community Talk: “Loss In The Community: How Parents Can Nurture And Support Teens”

  1. jennifer frank

    Dan, you may want to remind the organizers that there is a meeting at Staples at the exact time for incoming 9th grade parents. This would be a shame to miss and is quite appropriate for those parents but obviously we can’t be in both places at the same time.

  2. Kimberly Freudigman

    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I am so sorry that there is a conflict. We were responding to an emergent need on Monday when the talk was planned. We knew that it would inevitably conflict with many people’s schedules, but we felt it was important to do it this week. Please be assured that there will be future conversations in the next month that others can attend. You will be missed!

  3. This is a terrific idea.

  4. It is also important to note that beyond working through greif, depression is real, and can be but does not have to be life-threatening. Young people feel things very deeply, and need to learn from a very young age how to interpret, express, and work through their emotions. As an Early Childhood Educator, I see the life-changing benefits of early intervention and social/emotional learning every day!