GRIEF SUPPORT RESOURCESLoss is a painful part of life at any stage. During adolescence, a critical developmental period, children & teenagers are experiencing numerous stressors that affect their overall functioning. Unfortunately, there are times when losing a loved one (whether it be a friend, family member, or even a pet) can become a major part of this journey. In addition to contacting a Student Assistance or Guidance Counselor, see the blue sidebar for specific resources related to grief and bereavement that you may find helpful.THE BILL OF RIGHTS FOR GRIEVING TEENS:(www.griefspeaks.com - thank you, Lisa Athan)
A grieving teen has the right to……..•Know the truth about the death, the deceased, and the circumstances•Have questions answered honestly•Be heard with dignity and respect•Be silent and not verbalize his or her grief emotions or thoughts•Not agree with others' (or adults') perceptions or conclusions•If possible (& if desired), visit the person who is dying, attend wake/funeral, visit the place of death•Grieve any way he or she want without hurting self or others•Feel all the feelings and think all the thoughts of his or her own unique grief•Not to have to follow the “stages of grief” as outlined in a high school health book•Be angry at death, at the person who died, at God, at self, and at others•Ignore people who are insensitive and who spout clichés•Have his/her own theological and philosophical beliefs about life and death• If possible, be involved in the decision about the rituals related to the death•Not be taken advantage of in this vulnerable mourning condition and circumstances•Have irrational guilt about how he or she could have intervened to stop the death10 PRACTICAL SUGGESTIONS FOR COPING WITH GRIEF1.Get the info you need2.Continue a connection to the person who died3.Create rituals/traditions4.Write it out through journaling or story-writing5. Use expressive arts (music, drawing, painting, etc.)6.Make a memory book/box7.Make something good happen8. Help others- volunteer9.Take care of yourself10. Find something in your story"Childhood bereavement is all too common: in the United States, approximately one in 20 children will lose a parent by the time they reach 16 years of age and the vast majority of children experience a significant loss by the time they complete high school. Yet grieving children are vastly overlooked—both in society at large and in schools in particular. Schools have a critical role to play in the grief journeys of children who have lost a loved one. Teachers’ and classmates’ responses to a student’s grief can either serve as a source of support and stability during a difficult time, or as an additional hurdle to surmount. Moreover, grief can have a serious impact on learning for school-age children; bereavement can manifest itself in decreased academic performance, social withdrawal, and behavioral problems" (Coalition to Support Grieving Students, 2015).