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Summer program at Winburn helps grieving kids

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Posted at 10:53 PM, Jun 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-16 22:53:07-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A summer program for teenagers in Lexington is helping them to process grief.

The program, called the Healing Hearts Academy, provides a place for teenagers to process grief together.

"This is an opportunity to provide a mental health service to them and be able to learn how to process it," said T.C. Johnson, the coordinator of the program at Winburn Middle School.

Friday, the final day of the program, will feature the students showcasing a photo voice project at 3 pm at the Northside Public Library. It marks the end of the 10-day program.

The program features art, cooking, photography, writing, and service projects.

It's not just for students who are grieving, they could also be struggling after someone close to them was incarcerated, divorced, deported, the loss of a pet, homelessness, or community violence.

The program has been beneficial for 11-year-old Ella Woodford, whose mom died last November, who said she had felt overwhelmed, and wanted to shut herself off from the world.

"It's really helped me to overcome some difficulties that has been brought into my life with a lot of stress and trauma," Ella said.

Just being around other teens who are like her, letting her know she's far from alone, has made a tremendous impact, she said.