Trauma Response Team
When incidents that involve an unexpected death of a student or staff member happen, or even if there are students who may know victims of accidents or tragic events, a full Trauma Response Team is deployed to the school to offer wraparound supports. These supports will be available for staff and children as long as they need it.
The process is initiated and managed by school administrators who have received Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) training from the Canadian Center for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response.
Information will be always be shared with parents looking for ways to support their children through a difficult time.
We are aware that students process loss in different ways and we would encourage parents and guardians to talk and listen to your children to assist them in understanding a traumatic loss.
What Parents Can Do
You can provide valuable assistance to your children during this time. Here are some ideas to consider when talking about this sensitive topic:
- Be attentive to your child when he/she has questions and wants to talk.
- Listen to your child’s feelings and accept them, even if they are different from yours.
- Give honest, simple, brief answers
- Make sure that your child understands your answers and the meaning that you intend.
- Use words or phrases that won’t confuse your child or make the world more frightening. For example, using the word "sleep" for death can cause a child to be afraid of going to bed.
- Create opportunities for your children to talk with each other about what happened and how they are feeling.
- Be especially loving and supporting; more than anyone else, your child needs you at this time.
Above all, listen to your children and let them know that their feelings are normal and acceptable. Parents can dial 211 for 24-hour access to community referral information. For additional resources and information, parents can visit the Crisis Hotline page on the division website.