Celebrities join campaign to help families cope with COVID-19 deaths

Westport, Conn.-based nonprofit Experience Camps launched its Talk About Grief campaign on Nov. 19, Children’s Grief Awareness Day, to help children cope with the loss of loved ones who died of COVID-19.

About 250,400 people have died of COVID-19 in the U.S. this year, according to the New York Times. The Talk About Grief campaign encourages people to share their own grieving experiences, listen to stories about grief and connect with others to show support.

The campaign features a grief discussion guide, social media messaging and celebrity testimonials about how they have been affected by grief. Oscar winner Cate Blanchett, musician Andy Grammer and former NFL player Jon Dorenbos have joined the campaign.

Talk About Grief will end on Dec. 4, when Experience Camps will gather children for a virtual candle lighting ceremony and encourage people to support each other during the holiday season, which can be especially emotional for people who are grieving.

“Parents have told us that their children’s mental health — and their own — is an even greater concern than their physical health during the pandemic. That insight helped inspire the Talk About Grief campaign," Brie Overton, Experience Camps' chief clinical officer, said in a news release. "Some people worry that raising the topic of loss makes it worse. Actually, when we talk about grief, it can bring us together. Sixty-three percent of the children we support said they have used their 'grief skills' to help others cope with the pandemic."

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