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By now you should know which students need ongoing support and monitoring.
You need a team directly responsible for identifying these students. You should do this in partnership with mental health professionals, parents and carers.
This group of students should be managed through the school’s usual student support systems.
Students with family and social support changes
Pay more attention to students whose social support networks change. This might be at the time of:
- a holiday period
- an exam period
- leaving school (transition to work, further learning or a family move).
Also pay more attention if a student’s family support is likely to change. For example, through divorce or separation.
Close friends of the deceased student
Close friends can put pressure on each other by insisting on a particular way of remembering their friend. They might not understand that people manage grief in different ways.
Do not underestimate the damaging impact of these disagreements between students. Remember that these students are already very vulnerable.
Your staff can help these students by reinforcing that there’s no right way to remember or grieve the loss of a friend. Make sure you do this at an appropriate time.
Remind students to:
- be kind to each other
- respect each other’s differences.
As a site leader, you should think about extra support staff in the school.
This is even more important if your school is managing more than one critical incident.
Talk with your school’s emergency response team about this.
Think about compassionate transfers or changed appointments for specific staff.
Continue to liaise with your sector office. They can help to quickly facilitate this kind of support.
Government staff can call Employee Psychological Services on 8226 0744 for extra psychological support.