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Baystate Family Advocacy Center lands $100K donation for new …

SPRINGFIELD– Baystate Medical’s Center’s mission of helping children who have a family member commit suicide got a boost this week as the New York Life Foundation delivered a $100,000 donation

The check, presented to the staff at the Baystate Family Advocacy Center in support of their new children‘s Suicide Bereavement Program, will specifically support children and adolescents in need of mental health support after losing a loved one to suicide

Jean Deliso, Chairman’s Council, New York Life, and chair, Baystate Health Foundation, said “I am so proud to be connected to New York Life and be able to support this suicide bereavement program. It is an area people don’t talk about; there is a stigma around suicide. These children affected by it are hurt and struggling. This money the Baystate Family Advocacy Center was able to receive will be able to help our community.” 

The New York Life Foundation created the Grief Reach program to help providers overcome barriers to bringing grief support services to youth not served by existing bereavement programs. More than 200 Grief Reach grants totaling more than $7.7 million have been awarded since the program’s inception in 2011. 

The New York Life Foundation has been one of the leading funders of the childhood bereavement field, investing nearly $40 million to date in support of grieving children and their families. 

“We are thrilled that the New York Life Foundation have given us this money to develop a suicide bereavement program, in-line with our homicide bereavement program. It will allow us to provide services to children 3-17 who have lost a loved one to suicide,” said Jessica Wozniak, clinical grants coordinator for Baystate Medical Center. “We will now be able to provide therapy services for the children, incorporate speaker series, memorial services, and provide support to caregivers to learn how to help their child after the loss of suicide. We will also support schools who have experienced the loss of a student from suicide. It will be a robust program that we would not have been able to provide without this grant.”

The Suicide Bereavement Program’s will serve children and adolescents in need of mental health support after losing a loved one to suicide. According to Baystate, survivors are often isolated and struggling with the stigma of a death due to suicide.

The program will offer services to survivors at various stages in their grieving process – services tailored to meet the survivors’ ne whether it is in the immediate aftermath, or years later, providing stabilization and coping skills, according to Baystate.

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