Imagine FAQs

Imagine offers peer grief support groups for New Jersey children (ages 3-18) and young adults (age 18-30), who are coping with a loss including a parent, a sibling, a close family member or significant person in their life. Imagine offers peer grief support groups for parents who lost a child (ages 0-25). Adult grief support groups are offered in English and Spanish.

All of Imagine’s peer grief support services are free to all children and families.

Even if Imagine may not be a fit for you, we encourage you to reach out to us to learn more. Imagine can provide you a list of resources including grief support centers in your area, family organizations and clinical professionals to help you with your journey.

Imagine is not counseling or therapy, but we are still therapeutic through our peer-support group program. Groups are facilitated by trained adult and teen volunteers and are supervised by the Imagine Clinical Program Team. Our groups are complements for individuals and families who are also seeing a therapist.

At this time, Imagine provides peer grief support groups foradults in Spanish.We will announce when we are officially providing groups for children in Spanish.

Imagine’s programs run from September to June. Although families can join Imagine at any time and stay as long as needed, groups are on a scheduled basis and is not a drop-in program. We encourage you to commit to at least a whole program year, up until June. Additional summer activities are provided during the summer months of July and August.

Each family is assigned a specific day and week to attend groups at a Nights of Support. A family will typically attend on a Monday or Wednesday evening, every other week. Groups meet in the evenings between 7:00pm and 8:30pm. Nights of Support are available on-site at the Mountainside Center or virtually on Zoom.

Parent and caregiver groups run simultaneously and meet separately from the children and teen support groups.

Imagine groups children (ages 3-18) by their developmental age group: purple group (ages 3-5), orange group (ages 6-9), green group (10-12), and the teen group (13-18). Parents and caregivers are grouped based on type of loss: those who lost a spouse and those who lost a child. Adult support groups are also provided in Spanish.

Imagine does not initiate contact with individuals in grief, but our door is always open for them to reach out to us. This is due to confidentiality reasons and ask that the person in grief to contact us when they are ready. We suggest sharing information about Imagine with any family you know who would benefit from our services.

Volunteer facilitators commit to one program year (September to June) and volunteer every other week from 5:45pm –9:15pm. Prior to facilitating groups, volunteers are required to attend a 22-hour multi-day facilitator training provided by Imagine’s Training and Education Team, 3 hours of continuing education provided by Imagine throughout the year, and taking a one hour Imagine Tour.

No special background is required to be a volunteer facilitator at Imagine. We look for a willingness to listen, a heart inclined to service, and openness to learning new tools, and the ability to be with children and adults coping with loss without trying to fix, solve or give advice.

We believe in “grief brain” and encourage all individuals coping with a recent loss to wait until a full year before you volunteer. All volunteers will go through an interview process with Imagine’s Clinical Program Team to determine the best fit, role and time to volunteer after a loss.

To see if Imagine is a right volunteer fit for you, we encourage all individuals to first take an Imagine Tour which is offered three times a month, on-site and virtually. If you would like to have a private tour of the center by yourself or with a group, please contact us at 908-264-3100 or info@imaginenj.org

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