School Programs

Friend to Friend

Friend to Friend (F2F) is a grief support group for school-aged students (5-19) that meets children at their individual school. Children are often referred to as the invisible mourners. Essentially this means that they are typically overlooked unless there is a problem. Everyone grieves, but a child’s grief is expressed in their behavior. There are countless versions of acting out that usually flag either parents, caregivers, or school personnel that something significant is going on with them. Children have the capability for all of the same emotions as adults, but with very little experience in knowing how to express their feelings. Add to this that many children believe that they are somehow responsible for the death, and it is easier to recognize their confusion.

Children who attend F2F are met with by a licensed social worker/counselor who is specially-trained in providing bereavement support. The facilitator of F2F also possesses a vast knowledge of a child’s developmental abilities according to their age. We come alongside kids at a crucial point in their lives. A myriad of approaches to mourning loss are utilized as children acquire healthy coping strategies. Children who learn how to manage their grief grow-up into adults who build on these coping strategies for the rest of their lives.

Friend to Friend is currently being offered in Morgan County, Decatur City, Lawrence County, and Hartselle City Schools, and is offered without cost to families. F2F is a practical and helpful way to teach healthy coping in a supportive and caring environment. To sign-up your child(ren), complete the Friend to Friend consent form and turn it into your child’s school counselor. For additional questions or concerns, please contact Brad Eades 256-350-5585.

Crisis Support

The unexpected news of a death packs a devastating blow. It can be very difficult to carry on with business as usual when such an event occurs. A period of shock follows that makes it difficult to know where to begin. What do I do first? Who do I notify? When is it appropriate to relay the news? These are tough questions especially when trying to take in the news on a personal level as well.

Hospice of the Valley provides crisis support for sudden and traumatic losses. We attend schools when a student or faculty member has died. We help students as well as school personnel throughout the day to both assess and address the needs of their student body. We come with resources that help guide and support in the many days that follow such a loss. While a period of shock and disbelief is normal, it can be devastating to think about how to best care for affected students. We are both equipped and trained for exactly these unfortunate scenarios.

We also offer crisis support to area businesses when unexpected or sudden loss occurs. We are honored to be a trusted asset to our community for these needs.

240 Johnston Street, SE
PO Box 2745
Decatur, AL 35602
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  • Telephone: (256) 350-5585
  • Referral Fax: (256) 260-0847
  • Administrative Fax: (256) 350-3769
  • Clinical Fax: (256) 350-5567

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