There are a variety of ways in which kids and teens may react to and deal with a loss. Grief can feel overwhelming and kids and teen may not know how to deal with a loss. Remember that it is normal to feel grief after a tragedy or loss and that over time you will learn to cope with it. So, if you are a kid, or teen, dealing with grief, here are some steps you can try to cope with your loss.
- Face your feelings. In order to heal, acknowledge the pain.
- Express your feelings in a tangible or creative way. Write about your loss in a journal. Make a photo album celebrating the person’s life. Get involved in a cause or organization that was important to the person you lost.
- Manage your physical health. The mind and body are connected. When we feel good physically, we also feel better emotionally. Combat stress and fatigue by getting enough sleep, eating healthy foods, and exercising. Avoid alcohol and illicit substances to numb the pain of grief.
- Seek support – Grief can come with many challenging emotions. Consider reaching out to your friends, family, teachers, school counselor, or any person in your life, that you trust, for support. Discussing your grief with a trusted person can help you manage all the feelings surrounding your loss.
- Keep a routine – carrying on with your day-to-day activities, as much as possible, can help create a sense of normalcy in your life.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for professional help – if you notice that even after trying to talk to a trusted person, keeping a routine, and honoring your grief as well as your loved one, you are struggling to manage the loss, consider talking to a mental health professional, like a therapist or counselor. A mental health professional may be able to teach you additional coping tools for managing your grief and loss.
If your child expresses thoughts of wanting to harm themselves or others, call 9-1-1 or visit the nearest emergency department.
988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline:
Text any message to 9-8-8
Chat online at 988lifeline.org/chat
Crisis Text Line:
Text “HOME” to 741741
Save for later
Download, print or share on social media.
Find a mental health provider
Check your insurance website or the back of your insurance card.
Explore Psychology Today’s “Find a Therapist” tool.
Call CalOptima Behavioral Health (Orange County, CA).