Times: 6 - 7:30pm ET / 3 - 4:30pm PT / 12 - 1:30pm HT
Bereavement outside the context of a crisis is common – the vast majority of children experience the death of a close family member or friend. These deaths have a significant and often long-term impact on learning, social and emotional development, behavior, and adjustment. This session will first provide practical suggestions on how schools can talk with and support grieving children in general.
The current pandemic is associated with a large and growing number of deaths. Physical distancing, including lengthy school closures, makes it difficult for schools to provide support to grieving students using traditional means. This session will therefore also highlight the unique challenges for supporting students during the pandemic and describe free resources from the Coalition to Support Grieving Students that can be used to address these challenges. Ample time will be provided for questions and discussion.
By participating in the session, participants will be able to:
- Explain death to a young child
- Advise educators on what not to say and how to initiate conversations
- Feel comfortable supporting a student of a different cultural background
- Describe ambiguous loss and understand how knowledge of grief applies to loss other than bereavement, including during the current pandemic
- Recommend accommodations for grieving students, which is also relevant for students adjusting to the pandemic or other traumatic experiences
- Understand secondary losses and the impact they have on grieving students
- Anticipate and address grief triggers in school settings
Intended audience: educators; school mental health providers and support professionals (school counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers); school administrators; and community-based medical and mental health professionals providing support to schools and/or children and families
About the Presenter:
David J. Schonfeld, MD, FAAP, established and directs the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (www.schoolcrisiscenter.org); the Center coordinates the Coalition to Support Grieving Students (www.grievingstudents.org), comprised of over 85 organizations including the major educational professional organizations. He holds a joint appointment at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Schonfeld has authored more than 100 scholarly articles, book chapters, and books (e.g., The Grieving Student: A Teacher’s Guide, Brookes Publishing), and he has given more than 800 presentations on the topics of pediatric bereavement and crisis. He has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, CT, Marysville, WA, Aurora, CO, Chardon, OH, and Townville, SC; flooding from hurricanes Sandy in New York and New Jersey, Katrina in New Orleans, and Ike in Galveston, TX; 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China; tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and Alabama; and Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Sevierville, TN. He has also conducted school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T. Grant Foundation, and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death, as well as school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention.
About the National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement: In 2005, Schonfeld established the NCSCB with funding from the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust. Further funding from the New York Life Foundation has allowed the center to provide ongoing and expanded services. The center aims to promote an appreciation of the role that schools play to support students, staff, and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation, and technical assistance.
1-877-53-NCSCB (1-877-536-2722) firstname.lastname@example.org