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Grief counseling sessions available for west Louisville families

Hosparus Health and the YMCA of Greater Louisville are holding two special sessions to help the community grieve following recent tragedies.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — In honor of International Day of Nonviolence, and Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, students, staff and faculty of Presentation Academy silently voiced their opposition to the gun violence in the community. 

"I hope that we are sending a message to the downtown community and the Louisville community that we are all committed to ending this violence and praying for peace," said Principal Becca Noonan. 

Over 100 students stood silently to remember names we all recognize like Tyree Smith, the JCPS student who was killed weeks ago waiting for a school bus.

Senior Lily Norton said talking about the violence has been helpful. It has allowed her to address what is going on in the Louisville community. 

In light of the recent violence in west Louisville, the YMCA of Greater Louisville and Hosparus Health are coming together to provide grief services and bereavement support for those who have been impacted by these tragedies.

Hosparus Health will offer two special grief sessions on Tuesday, Oct. 5 and Wednesday, Oct. 6. People who attend will be able to participate in a variety of activities to help them process and express their feelings as well as practice self-soothing techniques.

No registration is required to attend the sessions and refreshments will be provided.

Tuesday's session will be held in the 6th floor ballroom of the YMCA on Chestnut Street from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday's will be in the community room at the West Broadway YMCA from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

Hosparus Health said it is currently in the planning phases to open a permanent counseling office in west Louisville, but realized that the need for a safe space was crucial right now.

On Sept. 22, 16-year-old Tyree Smith was shot and killed while waiting for his school bus on W. Chestnut Street. The person who killed him has not been identified and a $10,000 reward has been offered for anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest.

RELATED: Louisville mom starts foundation to help parents, families affected by gun violence

"While our hearts go out to the families and victims of senseless violence, we want to extend a helping hand to those still suffering in the aftermath," said President and CEO of YMCA of Greater Louisville Steve Tarver.

Following the two grief sessions, Hosparus Health said it will continue to be available for support in the area.

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