Teen Impact is the group-based psychological, emotional and social support program of the Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Diseases at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. The primary service of the Teen Impact program is the support group meeting.
Participation in the Teen Impact support group meetings is free for all family members. We do not bill insurance and no pre-registration is required. The meetings are ongoing and open-door, meaning that you can participate whenever you would like and as often as you would like. Patients and survivors, and their families, from any treatment center are welcome.
The adolescents who participate in Teen Impact:
- Go to school
- Have jobs
- Deal with relationship issues
- Plan and prepare for a promising future
- Enjoy life
- Parking vouchers are provided for support group participants.
Please call 323-361-4660 for special meeting times and information for support for newly diagnosed teens.
- Dates and Times
- Session Programs
Every second and fourth Monday of each month (no meetings in the month of August)
5 - 8 p.m.
Anderson Pavilion Conference Center on the first floor of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.
Group Meeting Description
Meeting nights are divided into three, one hour parts:
- 5 – 6 p.m.
"Space:” An informal hour during which families show up and spend time playing games, doing arts and crafts or just hanging out and talking. Sometimes special workshops or presentations take place during Teen Space.
- 6 – 7 p.m.
Dinner: Teen Impact provides a meal and refreshments every meeting night for families participating in the group meetings. Besides feeding everyone, the meal helps build a sense of community and allow families to get to know the Teen Impact staff.
- 7 – 8 p.m.
Support group meetings: an hour of discussion with people who truly understand what you’re going through, led by a mental health professional or trainee.
Anyone between the age of 7 – 12 years old that has or once had cancer or a blood disease can participate in this group with others just like them. Make new friends, do some fun activities and feel better about yourself.
For patients and survivors 13-18 years old, this group is an opportunity to share your story, get some peer support, learn from others and teach others about coping with cancer and being a teenager.
Young Adult Group
For patients and survivors 19 years and older, this group is an opportunity to discuss the many topics and issues that come with being a young adult that has or once had cancer or a blood disease. This group is also a great opportunity to network with other young adults.
Teen Impact understands that a diagnosis of cancer or a blood disease in a child is a diagnosis the entire family feels. The Teen Impact parent group is a safe and supporting place for parents to express their emotions and gain comfort from being in a room full of other caregivers who truly understand.
As a brother or sister of someone that has or once had cancer or a blood disease, you are not alone. More importantly, your thoughts and feelings count just as much as everyone else’s! The Teen Impact Sibling group is your place to talk to other brothers and sisters and have your voice heard. The sibling group is divided into two groups: The Younger Sibling Group is for brothers and sisters 12 years old and younger, and the Older Sibling Group is for siblings 13 years old and older.
The Inpatient Pre-teen, Teen and Young Adult Group is similar to these groups but is for patients 8-19 that are in the hospital.
Teen Impact Website
Teens in our program maintain a special website linking teens with cancer to each other for support (entry is restricted to teens in the program).
Annual Retreat and Special Activities
In addition to our core clinical program consisting of support groups and the three-day retreat, Teen Impact sponsors various special activities and event throughout the year.
- Art workshops
- Social Rehabilitation activities like parties and celebrations
- Field trips
- Music and cultural experiences
Teen Impact is proud to offer unique three-day retreats for teens and young adults with cancer. Activities during retreats include opportunities for social rehabilitation, including dances, swimming, outings to amusement parks and plenty of time to socialize with peers. The retreats allow our teen members to participate in normal adolescent activities they have often missed out on because of their illness and treatment. Special group activities are planned each day to promote diversity, individuality, group cohesion and bonding, and to focus on identified themes and issues of survivorship. The opportunity to build friendships during retreats increases participants’ comfort with the group, and a sense of belonging and trust. A physician and nurse attend all retreats in order provide care for teens who are still receiving treatment, or have special medical needs.
Mentor and Health Specialist Education
Teen Impact is proud to have a model training program for future mental health specialists. Every year five psychology graduate students complete a comprehensive externship.
Young Adult Mentor Program
Our Young Adult Mentor Program is one of the most unique features of Teen Impact. We use a special training curriculum designed to prepare young adult survivors of childhood cancer to become retreat counselors and mentors. Having experienced cancer first-hand, these counselors reach out to the teen group members as only someone who has shared a similar experience can, thus making a lasting impact. As models for younger members, young adult members foster hope, introduce diverse coping strategies and demonstrate successful life-span transitions. Through this program, mentors gain a sense of empowerment and meaning to their personal illness experience.
To improve the quality of life for adolescents and young adults with cancer by providing peer-based group interventions in a safe and therapeutic environment.