Addressing Grief and Loss in School Communities
As school administrators, it is essential to provide support to students and families during difficult times of grief and loss. Coping with loss can be challenging, and schools can play a vital role in helping students navigate through these experiences.
Here are resources that schools can use to support students and families during times of grief and loss:
• Crisis Response Planning: National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement | SAMHSA provides guidance on crisis response planning for schools. This includes steps to take immediately after a death, support for students and staff, and tips for communicating with families.
• Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative: New York Life's Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative - Coalition to Support Grieving Students offers a framework for schools to support grieving students. The initiative includes resources, training, and technical assistance to help schools build a more supportive environment for students and families.
• School-Based Grief Support Groups: Dougy Center for Grieving Children & Families provides resources for schools to establish grief support groups. The center offers training, technical assistance, and materials for schools interested in creating support groups for grieving students.
• Trauma-Informed Practices: National Child Traumatic Stress Network provides resources on trauma-informed practices for schools. These resources include guidance on creating a safe and supportive environment for students who have experienced trauma or loss.
By utilizing these resources and others like them, schools can provide a supportive and caring environment for students and families during times of grief and loss. Remember that every student copes with loss differently, and schools should strive to offer a range of resources to meet the diverse needs of their students.