Impact Stories

March Highlight: Zuton Lucero-Mills

marzo 4, 2024

From Judi’s House Client to In-house Grief Counselor, read more about Zuton and the incredible work she does at Judi’s House.

In honor of March being Women’s History Month and National Social Worker Month, we are celebrating our social workers who make a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve at Judi’s House.

Meet Zuton Lucero-Mills, MSW, SWC, one of our in-house Grief Counselors and a former Judi’s House client.

“It was the death of my own nine-year-old son that originally brought me to Judi’s House. Even after my family stopped being in services, I knew that I wanted to remain connected,” says Zuton. “I appreciated the opportunity to intern here and knew that I wanted to continue in a permanent capacity.”

As a Grief Counselor, Zuton is part of the team that conducts family assessments and facilitates in-house Pathfinders and Connections groups. Additionally, Zuton serves individual clients and provides training and support to our interns.

“I believe it is important to have specifically trained counselors to provide grief support for children because grief is complex and requires a skillset that is different from general counseling,” says Zuton.

She tells us that all therapeutic spaces can be valuable, but having a clinician who is comfortable with exploring grief and death is not often the norm.

“Certain societal expectations and perspectives can, and do, negatively impact children instead of assisting them,” says Zuton. “They encourage anyone looking to enter into grief-specific work as a social worker to be mindful of how they balance caring for themselves and others and to truly determine why this work speaks to them. This is a work of heart.”

“A Grief Counselor supports in the processing of grief, but also supports in the process of navigating the varied systems that people are a part of,” says Zuton.

By offering insights and strategies tailored to each person’s unique circumstances, grief counselors empower individuals to navigate these systems with greater resilience and understanding, ultimately facilitating healing and growth amidst the challenges of grief.

In addition to her work at Judi’s House, Zuton is a published author, who has written three books: Remembering MimiHigher Than The Heavens And Deeper Than The Grave, and Mommy’s Reflections: Losing Zumante and Finding the Mustard Seed.

Her advice to anyone grieving a death loss is “please know that you are not alone and there is no single way to navigate this journey. You have the right to do this your way, and there is no shame in seeking support.”

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