At Ashinaga, providing spaces and opportunities for young people to come together and share their feelings is important. Specifically, through Rainbow Houses and tsudoi programs. Losing a parent can be devastating. The social stigma surrounding the death of a parent can exacerbate trauma, adding feelings of shame and isolation. Not all who have lost one or both parents, or have a parent with a mental or physical disability, have access to mental health support, or have the opportunity to mourn, reflect, and process what has happened.
Many students experience great relief from finally being able to vocalize what they have kept bottled up inside, whereas others simply enjoy the atmosphere free from judgement or stigma. Staff, many of whom have experienced this kind of loss themselves, and trained in grief counseling, are always on hand to provide support and guidance.