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In 2007, the Terjeson family began attending the Dougy Center in Portland Oregon and felt immediate healing while attending the peer teen and adult groups. Upon sharing their story with friend, Melissa Nitz , she attended the Dougy Center’s International Training Program in 2008. Her training was put to use after the death of a Helix community member in 2008.
In 2016, the two families put their efforts together with a grassroots effort to create a bonafide center to service children and teens of Eastern Oregon. Their first meeting was Sept 24, 2016 with 10 interested community members from Hermiston and Pendleton attending.
Terjeson’s Story: Lydia was an 8th grader when her brother, Cason died in an agricultural accident. She missed her brother and her parents were sad all the time. Lydia was trying her best to keep her family together. Healing and processing grief takes so much work; she felt different that her classmates. One afternoon she and here mother, Jan were “kidnapped” and taken to the Dougy Center in Portland. Their family chose to attend sessions twice a week for 1.5 hours. The commitment to drive 1 hour each way and attend sessions was so worth while. The group sessions for teens allowed Lydia to feel a new normal, talk about her feelings with teens “who get it”. Lydia’s parents learned from other parents and friendships were created. The Dougy Center is a unique and special place.
Board of Directors: 11 Umatilla County residents serve on Cason’s Place Board. With the help of key volunteers, Cason’s Place established a 501c3 organization as of Dec 7, 2016.
The volunteer facilitators will participate in a 30 hour training.
March 1, 2017, CHI St Anthony Hospital gifted Cason’s Place 2 buildings. The buildings will hold peer group sessions for children, teens and parents/guardians.
*The Dougy Center Model of Peer Grief Support is used at Cason’s Place.