Tragic events, like accidents, natural disasters, and mass
violence, can impact individuals, classes, schools, communities and beyond,
depending on their nature and scope.
How students react to events will vary. Developmental stage,
physical or emotional proximity to the event, and prior experience with
traumatic circumstances can impact how students respond. Reactions can last for
days and sometimes weeks. Typically, they subside over time as we help students
talk through feelings, reassure them that they are safe and protected, and help
them to gain perspective.
Work with the school team to describe available supports to the parent/guardian and/or student.
With parent/guardian consent, share your observations to assist with referrals and treatment planning.
Continue to provide classroom accommodations to students struggling after a tragic event.
Use classroom strategies recommended by the service provider.
Take care of yourself
It’s essential that you take care of yourself too—for your
well-being, and so you’re better able to support the students you serve. Pay
attention to your thoughts and feelings. Recognize grief reactions can last for
many days or weeks.
Take the opportunity to process the situation and your
feelings with your friends, family and colleagues.
Keep regular schedules and routines.
Remember to eat, sleep, play, exercise, and laugh.
Practice positive ways of coping with sadness, fear, anger,
Ask for help. You don’t have to face this experience alone.
Help is available for you through your employee assistance program.
We will continue to expand our resources based on input. Please send us your ideas for topics to cover so we can meet your professional learning needs.
What can we help you find?
Need help now?
We don’t provide mental health advice, counselling or treatment. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department. You can also reach out to Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.