Social and emotional well-being starts with feeling safe, secure and valued.
Our emotional well-being programs build on that foundation. Through individual counseling sessions and thematic support groups, families are able to communicate their needs, learn to identify and express their feelings and gain coping skills and understanding by interacting with others. Our expressive arts program provides opportunities to work through grief and express feelings in a way that transcends words.

Expressive Therapies

Through the arts, people can communicate ideas and feelings that may be difficult to put into words. The use of the expressive arts in a therapeutic setting multiplies the avenues by which a person may seek meaning, clarity, and healing. Activities such as drawing, journaling, drumming, drama, creative movement, music and play permit individuals of all ages to express their thoughts and feelings in a manner that transcends verbal communication. These therapies provide an outlet to work through grief and help express feelings in a healthy way.


Support Groups

Thematic support groups and individual counseling sessions provide  emotional support, a safe space to share feelings, tools to process grief, and healthy ways to cope with loss.


Teen Group

Our peer mentorship program provides a supportive environment for teens with cancer and their siblings, to enable them to better cope and learn to thrive in school and life despite the challenges inherent to a cancer diagnosis in adolescence.


Grief Support for Loss of Child

A Family of Families, Sorrow Shared

For nearly 18 years, Jacob’s Heart has been present with loving hearts and open arms to families who have lost a child to cancer or other circumstances. Our family counselors, interns and parent mentors are trained to accompany all family members through the journey of life without their child.

Programs and services include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Financial assistance to help with funeral or memorial expenses and practical support to help with daily challenges
  • Help and support with planning remembrances, memorial services, legacy traditions and celebrations of life
  • Compassionate connections during the holidays – candle lighting, celebrations, sharing during the holidays.
  • Eight-week thematic support groups in both Spanish and English in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties
  • Monthly drop-in groups (you don’t need to sign up, just show up)
  • Bereaved teen support – outings, groups and connections
  • Art and play therapy for grieving children
  • Peer mentorship – matching parents, grandparents and siblings with others who have been there, those who understand…the only ones who really understand
  • Referrals to additional resources

Bilingual support is available to all families who have lost a child to cancer or other diseases or conditions in Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito and South Santa Clara Counties.

Contact Adriana for more information: 831-724-9100.


Emotional Support

The moment a parent hears the words, “Your child has cancer,” life is forever altered. Grief for the loss of a healthy child begins at the time of diagnosis. Fear, concern for other family members, and daily management of life’s challenges continue throughout the course of treatment, which can last for several years. Jacob’s Heart works with each family member of children with cancer and certain other life-threatening conditions to assess and address specific needs through the individual and family emotional support services:

•    Bilingual family and individual counseling
•    Support groups for families in treatment and bereaved
•    Art therapy and sand tray therapy in the home, hospital or group setting
•    Hospital and home visits to offer support and comfort
•    Life-skills training for adolescents

These services are provided by Family Support Specialists, volunteers and licensed family therapists.

Jacob’s Heart serves families in Monterey, Santa Cruz, San Benito and South Santa Clara Counties. Referrals for Jacob’s Heart support services are made through staff at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and the University of California at San Francisco Benioff Children’s Hospital.

Please contact Liz or Adriana or call 831-724-9100 for more information.

“When my daughter was diagnosed with cancer, none of my friends knew what to say. Then I met with the other parents at Jacob’s Heart, and they all understand what I’m going through. We laugh, we cry, and we heal together.”

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