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BIRMINGHAM (Nov. 18, 2013) – Grief counselors and staff at The Amelia Center at Children's of Alabama encourage the public to wear blue on Thursday, Nov. 21 in recognition of National Children's Grief Awareness Day. The effort is meant to raise awareness of the painful impact the death of a loved one has on the life of a child, and to educate families about the community resources available to help them deal with their grief.
Nationwide, one in seven children experiences the death of a loved one by age 10 and one in 20 loses a parent before they reach age 18. These children and teens often feel alone in their grief and experience great difficulty in coping with their loss. "The timing of National Children's Grief Awareness Day coincides with the holiday season, when the sense of loss is so often heightened among grieving families," said Robert Smith, executive director of The Amelia Center. "We welcome this opportunity to call attention to the needs of grieving children and the benefits they gain through the support of others."
The Amelia Center opened its doors in 1997 to provide individual and family counseling to children and teens who have experienced a death of a loved one, or to adults who have experienced the death of a child. Every year they assist about 375 families. Details about the programs and services provided by The Amelia Center are available at www.ameliacenter.org.
Children's of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and injured children since 1911, offering inpatient and outpatient services throughout central Alabama. Last year, families made more than 670,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children's from every county in Alabama and from 41 other states and four foreign countries. With more than 2 million square feet, Children's is the third largest pediatric medical facility in the U.S. and has been ranked among the top children's hospital programs in the country for the past four years by US News & World Report. More information is available at www.childrensal.org.