• Christina Mehta Prendiville

Valerie’s House Announces Opioid Grief Support Group for Children

New support group to meet growing number of community losses through overdose

FORT MYERS, Fla.–-Valerie’s House, Inc., a Southwest Florida nonprofit helping grieving children work through the loss of a loved one, announces a new support group for children and families who have had a family member die due to the growing opioid crisis in Southwest Florida. The Opioid Family Grief Support Group will run 12 sessions long, held every other Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., starting April 29, at Valerie’s House located at 1762 Fowler Street in Fort Myers, Florida.

Guest speakers representing the Lee County Sheriff’s Office as well as those in the Addiction Treatment field will participate. In addition, a national speaker who has had a loved one die from a drug overdose will meet with the children. Area social workers will lead the sessions while volunteer ‘buddies” will assist where needed and provide care and compassion to the Valerie’s House children.

“The greatest fear for these families is that their children will also be drawn to drugs, either by way of coping or because they are curious as to what they witnessed when their loved one was addicted,” said Angela Melvin, CEO and founder of Valerie’s House. “The curriculum we use for this group will discuss those fears and work with children and their caregivers so they don’t follow in the footsteps of their deceased loved one.”

The Valerie’s House Opioid Grief Support Group is open to anyone in the community who is raising a child after the loss of a loved one due to drug abuse. The group is one of several different support groups Valerie’s House offers to help children grieving.

Families interested in participating in the Opioid Grief Support Group or if you wish to volunteer, please contact Laura Romig, Director of Care and Compassion, at (239) 841-9186 or


Since 2015, Valerie’s House has provided grief services to over 300 children and their families from Lee, Collier, Charlotte and Sarasota counties at its Fort Myers and Naples locations. As the first program of its kind in Southwest Florida focusing only on children, Valerie’s House provides a safe, comfortable place for children to bond, grieve and heal following death of a close family member. The organization’s vision is that no child will grieve alone. Valerie’s House is a United Way Partner Agency and is fully supported through generous donations from the community. For more information, visit

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