When something significant happens in a family, the entire family is affected. If a parent dies or parents separate or a painful loss occurs, not only do the parents grieve, the children do also. Grief is an expression of love and a normal human reaction to a significant loss. Children find it difficult to verbalise their feelings of grief because of their age and inexperience. It may surface in their behaviour, schoolwork and emotional well-being.
Rainbows is a support group that helps children put their feelings into words, work through their grief, build a stronger sense of self-esteem, and begin to adapt to what has taken place in the family. Rainbows is not a counselling group. It is a safe, confidential setting where children will share their grief associated feelings with each other and with trained Facilitators.
Children are grouped with others of a similar age experiencing a similar loss. There are tragic losses that can cause extreme trauma. The Rainbows programme is not adequate in these circumstances. Professional help should be sought. If children are already attending professional counselling/family therapy etc. the professional's advice must be sought before application is made for attendance at Rainbows.
The Rainbows programme consists of 12 - 14 sessions and will take place October - January every year in our school. At the moment all of the facilitators in our Rainbows programme in St. Attracta's School are members of staff.