Local grief counseling nonprofit Adam’s Place, which has provided grief support programs around the valley for 13 years, is expanding onto the national stage.
The agency has been asked to train grief support organizations across the nation on how to establish its signature “Camp Cope” counseling program in other states. It is also hosting a national conference in late November for counselors and health care professionals from across the country.
Adam’s Place, founded in 2010, provides grief support services around the valley for children, teens, and families who have lost loved ones. At Camp Cope, trained volunteer facilitators lead sessions for different age groups, encouraging group members to express their feelings with others who are also going through the grieving process. The goals of Camp Cope are to make connections that help build resiliency and healthy coping skills.
“There is an acute need for grief support services in Southern Nevada,” says founder Kelly Thomas-Boyers, who noted that the number of bereaved families increased sharply during and immediately after the pandemic. “We estimate more than 22,000 children in Clark County in any given school year are coping with grief and loss. These children are at a far higher risk of depression, poor school performance and juvenile delinquency.”
The loss of a family member or loved one often disrupts the balance within a family, when emotions are running high, everyone is exhausted and difficult decisions to be made. Sometimes children are forced to take on the role of the missing parent. A parent’s death can be especially difficult for young children, affecting their sense of security or survival.
The Camp Cope program provides an opportunity for children, teens and adults to find support from both counselors and others their age who are experiencing the same pain.
“Experiencing grief alone is terrible, especially for children and teens who are confused, sad and angry, and don’t know how to express their emotions. Camp Cope can be a lifeline for families because it provides a confidential, safe space to share feelings and experiences,” says Thomas-Boyers.
Adam’s Place began training organizations locally and nationally to become certified to conduct Camp Cope programs in 2020. This work led Thomas-Boyers to recognize that a need exists for professional, standardized training in grief support services and best practices for therapists, school counselors, social workers and healthcare professionals across the nation.
The organization will hold its first national conference on children’s grief support groups on November 28 at the Roseman University campus. In addition to presentations from recognized experts in the field, the conference will include the Adam’s Place advanced facilitator training module, which demonstrates how to train community volunteers to be Camp Cope facilitators.
The organization isn’t stopping there. This year, it will expand educational opportunities even further through the establishment of the Adam’s Place Education and Training Marketplace, where interested professionals can take advantage of online training.
Thomas-Boyers notes that the new programs are being made possible through donations from BETFRED and the Palms Casino Resort/San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority.
“We are so grateful for their assistance in expanding our mission to help other communities,” she said. “This is helping us live our motto: that no child or teen should grieve alone.”
About Adam’s Place
Since 2010, Adam’s Place has been creating sustainable grief support programs throughout the Southern Nevada community. The organization’s Camp Cope programs help children, teens and families cope with loss through grief support groups where trained volunteers help them build resiliency and healthy coping skills. Adam’s Place also partners with local hospitals, medical practices, hospices, and the Clark County School District to train grief counselors and connect those experiencing a loss with both crisis and long-term support resources. Adam’s Place currently serves more than 2,000 families a year, helping young hearts find hope and healing.
Adam’s Place is a Las Vegas 501©(3) non-profit organization and all donations are tax deductible.
News Media Opportunity
Adam’s Place founder and executive director Kelly Thomas-Boyers will be available for news media interviews on Thursday, November 9, at 8 a.m., at a sign illumination ceremony for National Children’s Grief Awareness Month at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas Sign on the Las Vegas Strip just south of Russell Road.
She will be joining Clark County Commissioner Tick Segerblom in illuminating the sign in blue and orange—blue for grief and orange for hope.
Senior staffer Dulce Diaz will also be on hand to provide information on-camera to Spanish-language media.