SCU professor relaunches world-known grief and loss program

IT'S used in schools and organisations all over the world, Australia, NSW and the Northern Rivers, and it was developed by a Southern Cross University professor.

SCU Centre for Children and Young People director Anne Graham wrote the innovative program that has reached five countries Photo Contributed
SCU Centre for Children and Young People director Anne Graham wrote the innovative program that has reached five countries Photo Contributed Contributed

Version three of the 19-year-old loss and grief education program, Seasons for Growth, was launched in Sydney last night to target changing society needs. 

SCU Centre for Children and Young People director Anne Graham wrote the program in 1996 to help kids deal with grief as a result of divorce and death.

She is still the primary researcher and writer for the program and its adaptions. 

Prof Graham said the program has reached 200,000 kids in five countries over its lifespan.

"When you develop a program like this you've got to base it on really good evidence," she said.

"I think (it's) the reason it's endured for so long."

She said Seasons for Growth is a metaphor that helps children understand different life changes, like the changing seasons.

"It's a small group process ... it's with a trained adult," Prof Graham said.

"It helps children to identify what their support networks are." 

Due to its success, Seasons for Healing has been adapted for different circumstances, including grief and loss in adults, indigenous communities and during natural disasters.

The program has been popular in Northern Rivers public and private schools.

"A lot of schools on the North Coast have been using the program for almost the 19 years the program has been running," Prof Graham said.

"That's partially because of my footprint up there ... I'm more available to assist in training." 

Prof Graham said the program has helped put SCU and the Northern Rivers in the spotlight.

"This is a really stellar example of a regional institution who can hold their heads high and say, 'we're using our research to improve children's lives'," she said.  



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