The Case for Grief Support in Schools

Did you know – *7 out of 10 teachers have a student currently in their classroom who is grieving. This is incredible – but I bet if you asked a teacher, they already know it.

Children are so often the forgotten mourners and I believe strongly that they can experience hope and healing when they have the opportunity to grieve in the supporting presence of others who share the same pain. – Gary McWhorter

Author Gary McWhorter states it perfectly! Our children are easily forgotten in the midst of grieving. They grieve in their own unique ways just as adults do, and they need special attention and focus. I so strongly believe that if we successfully offer grief support in schools to our grieving children – while they are children – they have greater ability and hope to live full and happy lives as adults. Teaching children healthy coping mechanisms is vital – and it’s teaching them how to cope with any type of loss.

Oftentimes the adults are so deep in the midst of heavy grief that the children are forgotten. (And, of course, no adult does this purposefully – it’s just part of the experience.) This is the time that special focus and attention can be given to the children and when others are able to step in and help. And those “others” being the tribe of people who love and support that child – his teachers, his school community, his other family members, etc.

Because school is the place that a child spends quite a lot of their day and trusting student-adult relationships are oftentimes already established, school is an ideal place for this grief support to occur. When teachers are equipped and in-tunewith how to help their grieving students and a school leadership team who understands the importance of support, children have a safe place to grieve!

This is my work – my mission! To help our grieving kids and help those who love them to support them. Clearly, it’s so very needed.


*According to New York Life Foundation and the American Federation of Teachers