Welcome to Sage Centre. We recognize this can be a difficult time for you and those close to you. We will do everything we can to offer you both support and helpful resources.
We offer the only professional services for grieving children in Southern Alberta. Our counsellors specialize in helping families with children and teens adjust to the changes in their lives when someone close to them is living with a life-threatening illness or has died.
As the leading agency in Child & Family Grief we are the primary referral site for the following: schools, Alberta Health Services, health and mental health care professionals, victims assistance services, and past & current clients.
We ensure our services are accessible to all by attempting to remove logistical challenges during an already challenging time. Our counsellors work with patients and families at our Sage Centre location, and when appropriate, can also offer support at hospices, hospitals, schools, home, or at other locations.
Grief is how we respond when we experience loss. Everyone experiences grief and many people associate grief with the death of someone close to them. Grief is also a common reaction when someone in their lives is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.
Grief is complicated. There is no one way to experience grief; members of the same family can grieve differently. Connecting with other people can reduce the sense of isolation and feelings of loneliness that often come with grief. Our counsellors can help a grieving child, teen, or family navigate the emotions and overall impact associated with grief.
Parents and caregivers will be invited to meet their family's counsellor during an intake session. When children and teens first meet with their counsellor, the focuses will be getting to know each other and exploring the space.
Counselling sessions may include art and play therapies, writing or other activities that help explore and express grief.
Fees for bereavement counselling are based on a sliding scale according to your self-declared family income.
No one is turned away due to financial difficulties as we work hard with our community partners to ensure there are no obstacles to accessing our services. If your financial circumstances change at any time, please do not hesitate to speak with your counsellor for a fee adjustment.
For those living with advanced illness and their families, there is no cost for counselling support.
There may be some increase in intensity of feelings as we discuss and work through grief. The intention and benefit of counselling is to enhance our well-being. We all grieve in our own unique way and have different needs as we experience the death of someone close to us.
Individual counselling is focused on the individual's immediate or near future concerns, such as grief after someone close to them has died. It’s a one-on-one discussion between the counsellor and the client. The two form an alliance, a relationship or bond that enables trust and personal growth. Sessions may include art and play therapies, writing or other activities that help explore and express grief.
Family counselling brings together the members of a family as a group. It focuses on family dynamics and explores issues that affect a family (e.g. disease, death or conflict). By engaging the immediate family unit in grief counselling, those grieving can find great long-term support around them as they establish their resiliency.
Group programs for children, teens, and families can help reduce isolation, foster connection, establish resilience, and build community. Our current group programs for children, teens and their families are listed below.
This 8-week evening grief group for children in grades 1-6, has a concurrent group for parents/caregivers and presents opportunities for children to meet others who are grieving.
This 8-week evening group for teens in grades 7-12 offers a safe place for participants to explore their grief experiences with their peers.
This leadership program is offered to some of our past youth clients creating an opportunity for them to support grieving families through group activities.
This monthly evening drop-in program for client families with children or teens, offers an opportunity to connect with others in a relaxed and supportive environment.
We often hear from children and teens that they are a little nervous about their first counselling session. We would like to share some information with you so you know what to expect. We hope that this will answer some of your questions.
The counselling relationship is a special one
What you might want to know about seeing a counsellor
What your counsellor will do for you
We hope your experience with Hospice Calgary will be positive for you and your family.
How are services ended?
When you and/or your counsellor determine that Hospice Calgary services are longer required, your file will be closed. The opportunity to re-access services for grief counselling is available.
What if I need to speak to someone out of Sage Centre business hours?
Hospice Calgary Sage Centre operates regularly between 9:00 am and 5:00pm, Monday to Thursday and 8:30pm to 4:30pm on Fridays. In order to access 24 hour counselling support, please contact the Distress Centre at 403-266-4357. If you are a Palliative Home Care client, contact the 24 hours response line at 403-955-6288. For any other medical emergency, call 911.
How can I contribute to improving services at Hospice Calgary?
As part of your counselling experience, you will be asked to complete surveys in order to assess your needs and the ongoing benefits of counselling. While you have the option to decline completing the surveys, your cooperation is appreciated to help improve the quality of support and services offered by the organization.
What qualifications do your counsellors have?
All Child & Family Grief Services Counsellors have graduate degrees in counselling, social work and psychology and are certified through the Collage of Alberta Psychologists, the Alberta College of Social Workers, and the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. Our professional counsellors are bound by their professional codes of ethics and Hospice Calgary's policies.
We have gathered the following resources for you. Visit our Resources page for more.