Helping Students Embrace a Resilient Framework: The Interaction of Trauma and Grief in the Age of the COVID-19 Pandemic
As students return to school in the COVID-19 era, some may return having experienced the death of a loved one – a parent, family member, friend, member of the school community – from the illness. Students can have a range of grief reactions as a result of the unique circumstances related to the pandemic. The sudden nature of some deaths, being unable to visit loved ones in the hospital or being unable to engage in many of the traditional customs around death are just some of the complications making it more difficult for some children and youth to mourn. All students can benefit from a supportive grief and trauma informed environment whereas some will require more significant mental health services. Understanding the interaction of grief and trauma is helpful for identifying students needing different levels of support. This webinar outlines risk and protective factors that help predict those students with greater needs, methods for assessing reactions, and strategies for addressing students’ grief. Participants will also gain an understanding of the components of effective grief interventions for children and youth, including those experiencing traumatic grief. The webinar provides suggestions for strategies that can be implemented in schools, yet the approaches to assessment and intervention can be implemented in a variety of community- and clinic-based settings. We encourage all school staff to participate in the webinar.