Joining a support group can bring many rewards to patients and their families. Having a safe environment and the freedom to express oneself is important to children and adults who participate in support groups in the medical environment.
Therapeutic benefits of support groups:
- A feeling of connectedness with others who are going through a similar experience
- An opportunity for positive and negative expression through communication, art, music or journaling
- Improving interpersonal and coping skills
- Finding comfort in seeing the success of others in a similar situation
- A feeling of altruism by helping others
- Installation of hope for the future
- To experience acceptance and cohesiveness in the group setting
- Guidance from group members
- Self understanding and personal growth
- Provides respite
- An atmosphere of fun and relaxation
- Provides education resources, and networking
Child Life Specialists at Children's Hospital & Medical Center facilitate monthly support groups for patients and siblings in the Omaha area while social workers lead the parent/caregiver group separately.
Groups that Child Life Specialists participate in are:
Candlelighters of Omaha Kid's Group, Teen Group and Parent Group:
This group serves children and adolescents with cancer, their siblings, and parents. Candlelighters meet monthly at Children's.
For more information, please contact Christy Hogan at (402) 955-3957, or Email us
Therapeutic activities include:
- Talking about diagnosis
- Group art projects or murals
- Coping with holidays
- Giving back to others
- Outdoor activities (balloon release, blowing bubbles, etc.)
- Back to school after diagnosis
- Relaxation and coping techniques
- Movie and popcorn night
- Wish or dream boxes
- Time capsules
- Monthly journaling
There may be other support groups in the area that are available to children and families. Please contact your physician to find out more about a specific group that would benefit your child and family.