Thought Leadership and Advocacy

Global Leaders in the Field of Childhood Grief and Bereavement

Dougy Center is an internationally recognized authority on childhood grief and bereavement. Since 1982, Dougy Center has provided grief-informed services and support to children and families who are grieving. Our world-renowned expertise and approach have helped to shape the narrative of grief as a normal and natural response to a death. Everyone on Team Dougy upholds the values of respect, integrity, stewardship, and excellence in their work and is committed to leading in the field.

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International Workgroup on Death, Dying, and Bereavement

Vice-Chair and Invited Member, 2016 - Current

Donna Schuurman, EdD, FT, is a member of the invitation-only International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement (IWG). To learn about the IWG, click below.

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National Alliance for Grieving Children

Dougy Center joined NAGC in 2004 as a founding board member and continues to lead within the national network and contribute to its advocacy and awareness efforts as follows:

  • Founding Board Member
  • Board of Directors Chair & Member
  • Research & Evaluation Workgroup Chair & Member
  • Education Committee Member
  • Symposium Committee Member
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Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC)

We have been involved with ADEC since 1991 and Dougy Center staff have held the following roles in the organization:

  • President, Treasurer, 8-year Board Member
  • Credentialing Council Member
  • Exam Management Committee Chair
  • Exam Construction Committee Member
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American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP)

Dougy Center has been involved with AFSP since the early 2000s in the following ways:

  • Board of Directors, NW Chapter
  • Co-produced resource with AFSP: Children, Teens and Suicide Loss
  • Developed national training for adding youth suicide loss support groups for sites with adult suicide loss support groups
  • Members of the AFSP National Training Corps on developing support groups for youth after a suicide loss
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Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)

As the leader in peer grief support, Dougy Center has been called upon by the FBI to consult, train, and provide grief-informed best practices to the following national efforts:

  • Consultant and trainer to U.S. Government Victim Assistance Program (currently the Victim Services Response Team)
  • Mass Violence and Children Working Group
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The Compassionate Friends (TCF)

Our staff have helped to lead TCF through the following roles:

  • Board of Directors, National
  • Board of Directors, TCF Foundation
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National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

Dougy Center was called upon to assist the NTSB, an independent federal accident investigation agency in the following way:

  • Trainer to U.S. Government Family Assistance Program Team
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Our Experts in Thanatology

Team Dougy has two certified Fellows in Thanatology (FT), Dr. Donna L. Schuurman, and Dr. Monique B. Mitchell. They have mastered the body of knowledge in the field of death, dying, and bereavement, and have shown a commitment to professionalism and best practices in addressing issues of grief, loss, and mourning.

Meet Donna

Meet Monique