Heartworks, UPMC Susquehanna’s free peer support program for grieving children, teens, and their families, is accepting registration for the 2018–19 school year.

The program began at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, at UPMC Susquehanna Divine Providence, 1100 Grampian Boulevard, Floor 3, Williamsport, and the group meets twice a month throughout the school year.

According to Heartworks coordinator Linda Bryant, everyone grieves differently, and children often hide their grief to protect their parents. Children cling to routine or familiar experiences and often grieve in spurts.

“Many people believe their children are doing okay because they resume playing with friends and their school activities,” says Bryant.

“However, all children need time and a safe place to grieve, and that is where Heartworks helps.”

“My life got easier after coming to Heartworks,” said a teenage group member. “You instantly have a bond with other kids there.”

Heartworks’ staff and trained volunteers provide a safe and caring environment where children, teens and their family members may express their feelings and develop coping skills following the loss of a loved one.

The Heartworks program uses art, play, music, discussion and remembering to help children understand and work through their emotions.

A light meal is served prior to the group meetings.

Registration is required.

For more information or to register, call 570-320-7691, 1-888-499-3177, or visit UPMCSusquehanna.org/Heartworks.