How can teachers and professionals working in school provide bereavement support?

“By offering them simple choices, it can give them a little bit of control back in a life which feels very much out of control.”

Bereaved young people are much better placed to manage their grief when they feel supported in school as well as at home.

Young people spend a great deal of time in school and the impact of their teachers and support staff should not be underestimated.

  • Most bereaved young people do not need specialist support.
  • Acknowledge the death. It is better to say, “I don’t know what to say” than to say nothing.
  • Offer simple choices.
  • Allow the pupil time to grieve, with the option of ‘time-out’ when needed.
  • Consider curriculum topics which may affect a bereaved pupil.

By offering a flexible normality, schools can do a great deal to help a bereaved young person.