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Keep checking on staff and student wellbeing

Your school’s emergency response team should keep focused on wellbeing. Create activities to build a mentally healthy school.

The continued impact of a student’s death

The impact of a traumatic death lasts a long time.

Students and staff who were in the school when it happened can feel this more deeply.

What to look for

In the first month, look for obvious signs of staff or student distress. Work with mental health professionals to respond.

Check in with students and staff who are working or learning remotely.

Think about extra resources

Your school’s emergency response team can look at the needs of staff and students. They should think about the impact on the team as well. You might need to organise extra support with your sector office.

The interim appointment of an extra, experienced school leader can help. This can be invaluable for a school managing suicide postvention. It can:

  • relieve site leaders from the day-to-day administrative responsibilities
  • allow them to focus on specific postvention tasks.

Other crises can cause grief to return

Any other crisis in the school community can create cumulative trauma for those people affected by the student’s death. Cumulative trauma is psychological harm that repeats and builds over time.

If more deaths or accidents happen many staff and students might experience greater levels of grief.

These students and staff will need extra support and monitoring.