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Grieving Teens of the Desert

Published On: Mar 03 2014 07:59:36 PM CST

Coachella Valley students are finding a place where they can deal with daily struggles or life changing tragedies.

Grieving Teens of the Desert helps students dealing with bullying, suicide or the death of a loved one work through their grief together.

"In 2007, my grandfather committed suicide," said Danielle Acosta, 19, of Desert Hot Springs.

"I lost my father in the 8th grade, the year before I got to high school," said Stephen Hospedales, a La Quinta High School graduate.

Grief groups meet with the executive director of the program, Tom Morris, once a week at different schools around the Coachella Valley including La Quinta High School, Palm Desert High School and Desert Hot Springs High School.

Morris gives them a safe place to talk about unresolved issues in their lives.

"Grief is grief and they just need to talk about it," said Morris.

The program helped 12th grader Nicole Barden at Palm Desert High School deal with the loss of her math teacher, Jill Grant, who died in December.

"That wasn't easy. You don't move on you just learn to live with it," she said.

The tasks are as follows:

-Accept the reality of the loss

-Work through the pain of grief

-Adjust to a world without the deceased or lost

-Emotionally relocate the lost or deceased and move forward

Each student who participates must follow a few simple rules listen, be respectful and keep everything said in the group confidential.

For help, contact Grieving Teens at 760-831-1462 or