Skip main navigation

Taking stock: recognising stress and grief as lockdown eases

Describes how one school in the UK is making plans to support bereaved pupils. It includes details of organisations offering support and guidance.
© Guardian © Tavistock & Portman NHS FT

The pandemic continues to evolve, as do global efforts to manage, prevent and contain the virus. Each of us will be challenged in some way and it is difficult to fully anticipate the long-term effects on people’s lives. What we do know is that those who have experienced loss and trauma will need time and support to recover, along with opportunities to acknowledge and grieve for what has been lost.

This article describes how one school in the UK is making plans to support bereaved pupils. It includes details of organisations offering support and guidance. Here is an excerpt:

Vic Goddard (head teacher) plans to reassure staff that they are not expected to be experts in bereavement. “As a community, it’s important that we understand that we can’t take the pain away. We don’t have magic wands. But what we can do is listen.

All staff are being trained in how to start conversations, face to face, with bereaved children. “We’ll see if the child wants to push the door open, or if they want to leave it closed. If they push it open, we’ll be there to talk to them. If they don’t, we will be there to notice how they’re coping.

At the same time, there will be staff returning to school after being ill or bereaved themselves, while others will be feeling anxious about catching Covid-19 and passing it on to family members.

Staff are coming back in and having to deal with lots of stuff they’re not used to, while also dealing with their own issues. We are going to have to support each other, and notice that sometimes this colleague has had enough; they’ve reached the wall themselves.

A counselling service is being offered to all staff and that will continue when school returns fully in September. He will also encourage his colleagues to share the burden they face by working together to offer their pupils support.

There has been a lot of discussion recently about “new normals” – social distancing, the wearing of face mask – will recognising vulnerability and stress in ourselves and others become a new normal?

The next step offers some simple yet important principles for helping others.

© Guardian © Tavistock & Portman NHS FT
This article is from the free online

Grief, Loss, and Dying During COVID-19

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Our purpose is to transform access to education.

We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.

We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.

Learn more about how FutureLearn is transforming access to education