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Grief & Psychological First Aid
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“Your mommy died. You can’t make a Mother’s Day card!”

Would children really say such things to a grieving classmate? Yes, they sometimes do. Is it because they are being cruel? In most cases, no. It may be because they have questions, anxiety and confusion about what has happened to their peer.  SSWAA is a member of the Coalition to Support Grieving Students. The Coalition encourages school professionals to talk with students of all ages about death, grief and ways to offer support. Addressing these topics in class helps students better understand how to reach out to a grieving classmate. And that’s what most children truly want to do.  Check below for information and the resources available to assist you at  SSWAA is pleased to be a Founding Member of this important Coalition.

Read more articles that elaborate on ways to provide support.

The Coalition's Website includes 5 Modules of Resources:

 Conversation & Support

Talking With Children
What Not to Say
Providing Support Over Time 
Peer Support                                            

 Developmental & Cultural  Considerations
Concepts of Death
Connecting With Families  
Cultural Sensitivity
 Practical Considerations
Funeral Attendance
Secondary & Cumulative Losses
Coordinating Services & Supporting Transitions
Social Media

 Reactions & Triggers
Impact on Learning
Guilt & Shame
Other Reactions
Grief Triggers

 Professional Preparation & Self Care  


“Coalition to Support Grieving Students” Releases First-­‐Ever Bereavement Resource for Educators

Washington, D.C., January 13, 2015 – In a groundbreaking initiative to reach the millions of grieving students in classrooms across the nation, the Coalition to Support Grieving Students today launched, an innovative multimedia resource designed to empower educators and school professionals in their efforts to support grieving students.  SSWAA is pleased to be a Founding Member of this important Coalition.     Read More.   See Press Release   See some of the data and need to address grieving students in school. 

If you are a SSWAA Member, click here for more resources.   

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event (PDF)   National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Children & Grief    American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events:  Coping with Grief      Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

How to Deal with Grief.   Explains how to deal with grief as a normal response to loss or death. Describes how grief feels, how long it lasts, the four-step grieving process, and how grief differs from depression. Lists resources for more information.   (SAMHSA)

Information on Traumatic Grief  National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Psychological First Aid   Department of Homeland Security  

When Families Grieve: Sesame Street tackles the difficult topic of death and provides a number of resources and videos (in English, Spanish and with subtitles) of families' personal stories about coping with the death of a parent, as well as strategies that have helped these families move forward for both military and nonmilitary families.       Sesame Street

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