Kittson County Hospice hosted a conference on October 24, 2017, was entitled: Grief and Helping Grieving Families and SUICIDE-Interventions and Strategies for People with No Mental Health Training. Timothy Denney, MS, was the presenter from Level 5 Services based in Crookston. Denney presents a lot of topics for his job, but today he focused on two: grief and suicide.
The day was broken up into two parts. The morning session consisted of strategies to help others to grieve well. The afternoon session dealt entirely with suicide: how to recognize an imminent suicide attempt in others and how to intervene.
The “Good Grief” session taught conference attendees how to understand loss as a nearly universal grief trigger and to be able to differentiate between grieving in adults, children, and adolescents. Many people don’t realize that children and adolescents may have to grieve longer than adults. “Kids will process all over through completely different eyes as they get older and understand more,” said Denney. He walked the conference attendees through the developmental stages that children take to adulthood, and the accompanying grief that they are processing along the way. Additionally, if loss happens when a child is kindergarten age or younger, they may not be able to explain, in words, what they’re feeling.
For more on the conference, see this week’s North Star News.