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After a Suicide

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Frustrated Guy - After a Suicide pageNothing should be done to glamorize or dramatize the event, but doing nothing can be as dangerous as doing too much. Every school should have policies and procedures that address the needs of the administrators, teachers/staff, students and parents after a suicide.

Maureen Underwood and Karen Dunne-Maxim in their book, Managing Sudden Traumatic Loss in the Schools, identify the following:

Administrators need:

  • Information about the death
  • Information about the deceased
  • A system for contacting necessary crisis resources
  • A strategy for responding to media requests
  • Support

Teachers/Staff need:

  • Information about the death
  • Information about the school’s crisis response plan
  • Permission to grieve and a place to grieve
  • Preparation for students’ reactions
  • Guidance in structuring school activities
  • Involvement in identifying high-risk students
  • Information about resources within the school and community
  • Support

Students need:

  • Information about the death
  • Permission to grieve and a place to grieve
  • Outreach to those most impacted by the death
  • Information about resources within the school and community

Parents need:

  • Information about the death
  • Information about the school’s response
  • Preparation for children’s reactions
  • Information about community resources
  • Support
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