Creative Connections: Jacinta’s Smile
About Jacinta’s Smile
Jacinta’s Smile is a sibling bereavement organisation that aims to provide supports to children (ages 7 – 17) and young adults (ages 18 – 25) who have experienced the loss of a sibling. The founders have lost three siblings themselves and are acutely aware that very little mental health support is available for children and young adults who experience the death of a sibling. When a child dies the community understandably rushes to comfort parents. However, many fail to acknowledge the loss of the siblings left behind as many do now know how to support the bereaved child and often fail to take account of their grief and the extraordinary change in family life. We know from personal experience that children do not forget and being silent does not erase the past.
Jacinta’s Smile’s mission is to raise awareness about sibling bereavement and create tailored support services for bereaved children so they can constructively deal with their grief, lessen feelings of isolation, and come away feeling secure and focused on their own future. We have a range of supports which we offer to the public which can be viewed on the website. We understand that counselling is one part of addressing the holistic needs of a bereaved young person. Therefore, we organise peer events such as adventure days, information sessions for parents, and various workshops to support bereaved children on their journey.
Sadly, because of Covid-19, we were unable to directly deliver services to many of our clients this year in respect of social distancing guidelines. However, we know that bereaved children need our support and we think of them often and have been trying to find unique ways to connect with families in need.
This is why we have decided to organise Creative Connections. This is a FREE online event for young people in association with Bereaved Children’s Awareness Week. Creative Connections is a fun and engaging online event which links 7 – 17 year olds with other young people in their peer group who have also experienced the loss of a family member or close friend. This event aims to unlock the beauty and emotional intelligence that resonates deeply within each of us. We have chosen music as a language of expression as it is a powerful tool capable of bringing us together. Music can tap into deep feelings and create connections with others in ways that words cannot.
We are inviting bereaved young people, especially those aged 11 – 17, to join us in a professionally facilitated Zoom session led by Chiara Clear. Chiara holds a Master’s degree in Music Therapy from the University of Melbourne, Australia and is a registered music therapist with both the AMTA (Australia) and IACAT (Ireland). She is working with us to create music workshops for different age groups and has this message to share about the event.
*To join in these music sessions you do not need to know how to play an instrument or how to sing. As long as you enjoy music, this is for you!