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Community Strength Project

Phoenix Children's Hospital

Support Groups for Youth

The Phoenix Children’s Hospital has a clinic for children and adolescents with HIV/AIDS. This clinic is called the Bill Holt Pediatric Infectious Disease Clinic. Among the Bill Holt Clinic’s services are support groups.   

Amy Edmonds, LMSW, coordinates two support groups. These support groups meet monthly, usually on the third Saturday of every month.

  • Preteens (10 to 14)

The first group is for preteens. The preteens are usually ages 10 to 14. This group concentrates on teaching the basics of HIV and building participant’s character.

Amy recently led the preteen support group members in a collage activity. The participants took magazines and cut out pictures that they felt were meaningful. They then combined these pictures into a collage and explained to the group the significance of each picture. This activity helped to build friendships with each other in the group and showed them how to express themselves through art.

  • Teens (15 and up)

The second group is for teens, usually ages 15 and up. This group focuses on building life skills. Teenagers can use these life skills to better transition into adult medical care.

Ultimately, these skills will provide teenagers with the knowledge to become socially responsible adults in the future.

Both the preteen and teen groups discuss the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS. Each group provides a safe environment for the participants to be themselves. HIV can have a lot of social consequences. It is important for HIV positive preteens/teens to feel able to socialize openly and without fear.

The support groups engage in fun outings at least twice a year. These outings may include paint balling or sporting events. These outings allow members of the support groups to interact in a less formal environment.

While the teens and preteens are meeting, a group is coordinated for their parents. The parent’s group is facilitated by Amy. Soon, Amy will host an additional support group for adolescents who are affected by HIV/AIDS.

To find out how to join any of these groups, call Amy: (602) 546-0236 or check website for more information: Phoenix Children's Hospital 

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