Skip to main content

Training for School Professionals

In a recent survey, it was reported that 7 in 10 teachers (69 percent) currently have at least one student in their class (or classes) who has lost a parent, guardian, sibling or close friend in the past year (New York Life and American Federation of Teachers, 2012).

And because many teachers have reported that they are often unaware of the students in their school who have had someone close to them die, the numbers are quite probably even higher.

Woman workin with kids

While it is clear that many teachers and other school personnel are encountering grieving students frequently, many report feeling unprepared to know how to help or comfort them. Bereavement training is not typically included in traditional college educational curriculum for teachers, guidance counselors, school nurses, administrators or other school staff.

Aware of this gap between the need and the availability of training, the Highmark Caring Place has developed a series of educational presentations and trainings to help school personnel become more knowledgeable about the impact of death on their students.

In addition, we can help you understand how to support the students in the classroom and throughout the school day. All of these programs are offered to your school at no cost.

The Caring Place will work with your school to develop a format that fits your needs — from a one-hour presentation to a half- or full-day training. The topic can be developed based upon your interests.

Some of the more popular topics include:

  • What is the Highmark Caring Place and how can we help your school?
  • The impact of grief on children and teens: A Developmental Overview
  • Supporting grieving students in the classroom
  • Helping a grieving student transition back to school following a death
  • How to support a grieving friend (presentation for students at an assembly or in a health class, psychology class or other class in conjunction with other appropriate curriculum)
  • The grief of a preschooler
  • Teens and grief
  • The Caring Team for Grieving Students (an innovative program that promotes an overall sensitivity for grieving students in your school as well as providing the opportunity for students to practice leadership skills)
  • Children’s Grief Awareness Day (activity/event-based initiative raising awareness of the impact of death on children and teens)
  • Facilitating a support group for grieving students*

*Specialty training