Gateway School District has a Crisis Intervention Team made up of professionals trained to help with the needs of students, parents, and school personnel at difficult times such as this. At our schools, we have counselors available for any student who may need or want help or any type of assistance surrounding the tradgedy at Sandy Hill Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. We encourage you, as parents, to also feel free to use our resources as well.
The list of agencies shown in the right hand column provide support in many mental health areas.
The information below has been provided through the efforts of the Gateway Special Services Department.
Helping Kids During Crisis:
• Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.?
• Limit exposure to television and the news.?
• Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle.?
• Listen to kids’ fears and concerns.?
• Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
• Parents and adults need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
• Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.
7 STAGES OF GRIEF:
Shock and Denial
In this stage, the person suffers from shock on knowing about the loss. Shock is a self defense stage of the mind and the outcome of it, many a times, is denial of the facts that have actually happened. A person in grief thinks that he is dreaming and he cannot / refuses to accept the grief causing situation. The time for which this stage lasts cannot be determined. Simple tasks and decisions cannot be carried out by a person in shock.
Pain and Guilt
At this stage, the grieving person realizes that the loss that has happened is true. This is the most chaotic and scary stage of grief. Many people succumb to alcohol and drugs at this stage of grief. Intense feelings of guilt and compunction are experienced due to the wrong things done which led to this irreversible loss. Sometimes, in grief, people blame themselves and consider themselves responsible for the loss.
The next stage of the 7 stages of grief is anger. The person may get angry due to the injustice that has happened to him or he may get angry over a person responsible for the loss in his life. Anger management is necessary at this stage of grief.
After the painful stage of anger, the person in grief gets frustrated and may start blaming others for the loss. Although this blame is not correct, he is not in a state to understand and accept the reality. This stage is called bargaining. In this stage, the person starts bargaining for the loss and tries to find out ways in which he can revert the situation and compensate for what he has lost.
Depression and Sorrow
After anger and bargaining stage, in the next stage, the person accepts the loss but is unable to cope up with it. Depressed and demoralized, the person is in despair and behaves passively at this stage of life. He sees no remedy to the loss he suffered and is reluctant to behave in a normal way and thus goes into a state of depression.
Testing and Reconstruction
This is the testing stage in which the depressed person starts to indulge in other activities so as to escape the disturbing sorrow. In fact this is the beginning of the next and last stage, i.e. acceptance of and coming to terms with the reality. It is also a stage of reconstruction as in this stage, he starts the process reconstruction of his life by searching for solutions and ways to come out of his grief.
This is the final stage of all the 7 stages of grief, when the grieving person accepts the reality. Not only does the person accept the reality but he also becomes stable. Acceptance stage projects a ray of hope and the person starts believing in himself. Reality and facts of life are accepted and the person moves forward with this life. This stage can be noticed when the person starts behaving normally and his performance in the office is quite improved. The grieving person starts to mingle with friends and colleagues around him.