Psychosocial support

The Lighthouse offers parents, siblings, grandparents and relatives the support they need to go through the various stages of life with a seriously ill child as serenely as possible.

A dedicated psychosocial team

The support provided to children and families at The Lighthouse comes in many forms. It is adapted depending on what stage of the disease the child and family are at. Support can also be organized on an individual or family basis, or for couples and groups.

The Lighthouse social workers team and  accompanies families to offer support throughout the:

  • decision-making process
  • duration of the illness and its impact on the daily life of each member, i.e., parents, siblings, grandparents and loved ones
  • difficult family situations or crises
  • periods of anxiety related to the child’s unstable health and end of life
  • preventive care interventions
  • bereavement follow-up

For more information or to make an appointment, please contact one of our social workers: Li-Anne Cyr at 514 787-5086 or lcyr@phare-lighthouse.com, Marion Onno at 514 787-8818 or onno@phare-lighthouse.com or Mélanie Limoges at 514 787-8804 or mlimoges@phare-lighthouse.com.

Decision-making workshops

Living with a seriously ill child at home comes with its share of difficult decisions. These include medical decisions, decisions about your child’s social integration, decisions involving siblings, or decisions concerning your financial or professional situation.

 

These two-day participatory workshops offer guidance to steer your thought process and help you make informed decisions. The workshops introduce a complex decision support tool designed by Josée Chénard (professor of social work at the Université du Québec en Outaouais) that will help guide your future decisions.

  • « The workshops have facilitated my thought process and helped me regain a sense of control. »
  • « I am beginning to be at peace with my decisions; when I made them, it was for such and such reasons. »
  • « I am more aware of how I make my decisions. »
  • « These meetings have allowed me to gain maturity by taking more time to ask the necessary questions. »
  • « This workshop makes us take stock of how far we’ve come. »

Thematic meetings for siblings

There are many issues associated with having a sibling in palliative care. Meetings on various themes like adaptive sports or arts activities are organized several times a year to allow siblings who share a common reality to get together. These group meetings allow siblings to take part in activities that enable them to break the isolation they may experience, normalize what they are going through, enjoy a moment and a space for themselves, and boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Family respite care – Aid to Children of the World

Aware of the significance of respite for families caring for a seriously ill child on a daily basis, The Lighthouse has responded positively to Aid to Children of the World’s call to offer families receiving our services free stays in the Nicolet area.

This is a simple way for The Lighthouse to improve the overall support it provides to families, allowing them to rest both physically and mentally and enjoy pleasant moments away from home, while their sick child stays at Maison André-Gratton.

Bereavement follow-up

The Lighthouse provides bereavement follow-up to grieving families following the loss of a sick child who was under the age of 18. This service is available to all grieving families regardless of whether they received services from The Lighthouse during their child’s illness.

Individual, couple or family meetings

This service is intended for parents, siblings, grandparents and loved ones. Families may be referred to local partners if need be.

Support group for bereaved parents

In the spring of 2017, The Lighthouse, Children and Families set up a support group for parents who have lost their critically ill child with the aim of helping them get through the grieving process. More specifically, it provides a safe space for parents to talk about their feelings and their personal experiences. The group offers the opportunity to share with other parents, meet people who have had similar experiences, break the isolation and normalize what each person is going through.

Various themes related to grief are discussed at these meetings, that take place over the course of seven sessions, each lasting two and a half hours every other week.

The meetings are held by a clinical care counsellor and a social worker at The Lighthouse, Children and Families.

Testimonials

Family workshop: Getting through the holiday season when you are grieving the death of your child

The holiday season is an important and emotional time for grieving parents, siblings, grandparents and loved ones. This is why we offer a special family workshop to support them during the Holidays. This workshop includes moments of sharing and creation, moments for both adults and children, and moments of remembrance that help families continue to move forward.

  • « Thanks for the activities and your support. You guys are such a wonderful team. »
  • « Thank you for making us part of the larger Lighthouse family for all these years. »
  • « Thank you for letting us come together to support each other this holiday season. »
  • « This workshop helped me realize that taking part in arts activities in connection with my child made me feel good. »

Annual Magnus Poirier Commemorative Ceremony

This non-religious ceremony is a time of recollection and includes testimonials and symbols in honour of Lighthouse children who have passed away. It is open to all families who have experienced a loss and have benefited from the Magnus Poirier/Lighthouse partnership.

Lighthouse Commemorative Ceremony (every 5 years)

This is a non-religious ceremony that promotes recollection through testimonials and symbols, while highlighting the memory of all Lighthouse children who have passed away. It is open to all grieving families.

Magnus Poirier Funeral Expenses

The Lighthouse is aware of the significant costs of keeping a seriously ill child at home. As such, The Lighthouse has signed a partnership agreement with Magnus Poirier to provide assistance with funeral costs to Lighthouse families whose child has passed away.