Children suffering a painful loss can feel paralyzed and overwhelmed. Many children in this situation may become unruly, with teens undertaking risky behaviors including self-medication or self-mutilation. Kenny Slaught notes that the I Have a Friend program shows them that there is an alternative and helps them overcome grief and pain to lead fulfilling, happy lives, much like the adult volunteers have. These volunteers support open communication and work to help program participants become more resilient.

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