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Peer Support

Peer-based services offer emotional support to those grieving a death or coping with a terminal illness (their own or another's). Our peer support model advocates listening, speaking, and acting from the heart in service to others with the goal of providing compassionate, non-judgmental support. It is a philosophy and practice based on mutual respect, empathy, positive regard, non-judgmental behavior, genuineness, acceptance of differences, and intention to be of service. Fees are not charged for our peer support services but donations are suggested (one's ability to donate never affects service availability). Services are offered as described below for adults, children, teens and families.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form | En Español

COVID-19 SERVICE IMPACT NOTICE: With the goal of serving the grieving in our community while prioritizing the health and safety of clients, volunteers, and staff, Kara now also offers telehealth grief support services (phone or video meetings). Inquiries from individuals, families, and organizations should be submitted through this contact form or by calling us at 650-321-5272

Individual Peer Support for Adults

Adults may receive individual (one-on-one) peer support from a trained volunteer. Following an initial interview, a person is carefully matched to an appropriate peer counselor. Weekly meetings are scheduled at the mutual convenience of the individual and the peer counselor. The unique needs of the individual typically determines the length of time for the support services.


Peer Support Groups for Adults

Many find it helpful to meet with others who have experienced a similar loss. These groups, facilitated by our trained volunteers, offer an opportunity to share experiences in a safe, supportive environment. Regularly scheduled ongoing groups as well as drop-in groups for adults are offered throughout the year through in-person and online formats. New groups are often initiated when a group concludes, dependent upon client demand and volunteer/staff capacity. Learn more below about our current or upcoming group offerings.

In-Person and Online Groups Info

DROP-IN GROUPS FOR ADULTS

Ongoing drop-in groups are for adults who are grieving any type of death of someone in their lives. No appointment or interview is needed. This group has been offered in both in-person and online formats. Current offerings are listed below. Typically, no groups occur the week between Christmas and New Year.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

Palo Alto Location - 457 Kingsley Avenue

  • In-Person Group: 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the month - Afternoons (1:00-2:30 pm)
  • Online Group: Not Currently Offered
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View Our Calendar

YOUNG ADULTS GROUP

Our Explore Your Grief groups are designed for Bay Area young adults ages 18 - 35 individuals who have died through meditation, art, and journaling exercises. Currently groups occur online via Zoom on the second and fourth Thursday from 6 - 7:30pm. Learn more by clicking the link below.

Young Adult Events - Explore Your Grief

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

MEN'S GROUP

This group is designed for men who have recently had a significant person in their life die. The group provides a safe and a supportive environment for participants to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Typically, the group occurs twice a year and runs for 12 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

Typically this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session. Therefore, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently closed. Future dates to be announced.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

SPOUSE/PARTNER LOSS GROUP

This group is designed for adults who have experienced the death of a spouse/partner. The group provides a safe and a supportive environment for participants to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Typically, the group occurs a few times a year and runs for 12 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

Typically this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session. Therefore, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time. Occasionally this group is also offered in a 'drop-in' format.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently being offered. Contact our office for more information.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

PARENT LOSS GROUP

This group is designed for adults who have experienced the death of a parent. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for participants to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Typically, the group runs for 8 - 10 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

Typically this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session. Therefore, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time. Occasionally this group is also offered in a 'drop-in' format.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently being offered. Contact our office for more information.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

ADULT CHILD LOSS GROUP

This group is designed for adults who have experienced the death of a child. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for participants to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Typically, the group occurs twice a year, runs for 12 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

As this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently being offered. Contact our office for more information.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

ADULT SIBLING LOSS GROUP

This group is designed for adults who have experienced the death of a sibling. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for participants to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Typically, the group runs for 6 - 10 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

Typically this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session. Therefore, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time. Occasionally this group is also offered in a 'drop-in' format.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently being offered. Contact our office for more information.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

SUICIDE SURVIVORS GROUP

This group is designed for adults who have experienced the death of a significant relationship due to suicide. The group provides a safe and supportive environment for participants to share their experiences and feelings as well as learn about the grieving process. Typically, the group occurs a few times per year and runs for 12 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

As this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently closed. Future dates to be announced.

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Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

WRITING THROUGH GRIEF GROUP

Offered on a limited basis, this group is designed for adults who have experienced the death of a significant relationship and who wish to process their grief through the medium of writing. Facilitators of this group will guide participants to explore their grief by utilizing writing prompts and discussion groups. The group typically runs for 10 sessions and has been offered in both in-person and online formats.

As this is a closed group, meaning the same participants will be attending each session, we require an intake so as to learn more about you, your grief, and what meaningful support means to you during this time.

Although no fee is required for participating in this group, donations are suggested and appreciated.

This group is currently being offered. Contact our office for more information.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form


Peer Support Groups for Children, Teens and Parents

The following groups are available for children, teens, and parents/caregivers who are grieving the death of a family member. These groups provide a safe and supportive environment to meet others who have experienced the death of a parent, caregiver, or significant family member by illness, accident, suicide or homicide. In groups, participants are given the opportunity to share experiences around grief and loss, and to acquire coping skills as they integrate the loss into their daily lives.

After an initial intake interview, family members are placed into groups as space permits by considering age, who died, and how that person died. Groups take place twice a month in the evening, for 90 minute sessions. Parent groups run concurrently with the children and middle school groups. Parent and child/teen enrollment is not dependent upon each other, as Kara recognizes the unique needs and readiness of each family member. Learn more below about our current groups.


CHILDREN, AGES 5 - 11

Children’s groups are designed for children to process their grief and the accompanying range of thoughts and emotions they may have through play and creative expression. Children’s groups provide opportunities for children to express themselves verbally and non-verbally through a range of outlets, including discussion, expressive and visual arts, activities, games, and movement. Children benefit from the opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings with one another in a supportive and structured environment. Children’s groups are offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings, twice a month.

An intake interview is required with every family member who is interested in joining a group.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

MIDDLE SCHOOL (6th - 8th GRADES)

The middle school group is a blended session with time for participants to talk and share experiences together, as well as participate in a number of activities of their choice. In group, middle school children learn healthy ways to process their grief and cope with their loss. The middle school group is only offered on Monday evenings, twice a month.

An intake interview is required with every family member who is interested in joining a group.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

TEENS (9th - 12th GRADES)

The teen group is a discussion-based support group where teens can connect with peers in similar situations, understand their own individual grief process, and develop healthy skills and strategies for coping and self-care. The teen group meets on Tuesday evenings, twice a month. There is no parent group running the same evening as the teen group.

An intake interview is required with every family member who is interested in joining a group.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

FOR PARENTS - SPOUSE/PARTNER LOSS

Adult peer support groups for parents/caregivers of children younger than 18 who have experienced the death of a spouse or partner are offered on the same evenings as the children and middle school groups. The spouse/partner loss groups offer an opportunity for participants to share about their own individual loss and grief, as well as to meet other parents in similar situations. In group, parents are part of a supportive environment where they can share about parenting challenges and issues they may be facing.

An intake interview is required with every family member who is interested in joining a group.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

FOR PARENTS - CHILD LOSS (under age 18)

This child loss peer support group is designed for parents grieving the death of a child younger than 18 years old. The group offers a space for parents to share their experiences with one another and to gain support around their own loss as well as challenges they may be facing as a family. The child loss group meets on Tuesday evenings, twice a month.

An intake interview is required with every family member who is interested in joining a group.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Submit Online Form

JOURNEYS PROGRAM: SCHOOL-BASED GROUPS

In addition to the on-going groups at Kara's Youth & Family Services facility, our Journeys Program initiative provides school-site groups for elementary and middle schools. Students are identified by school personnel and invited to participate, and the groups are led by highly trained staff and volunteers. Interested schools should contact us to discuss participation in the Journeys Program.

Request Services: Call Us 650-321-5272 | Learn More

Although I walk around with an invisible weight from the grief, I now also feel my heart cracking open, able to breathe, cry and express what is inside. With deep gratitude to all in the group, thank you, thank you, thank you for your presence and walking through this together.

Group Participant