Grief and Loss Support Training in Vail
In response to a critical community need addressing the record cases of grief and loss due to the pandemic and resulting deaths from the virus and ripple effect of increased suicide and homicide deaths, Tu Nidito has developed a comprehensive training for school staff and a companion structured 8-week Grief group curriculum.
Amanda Marks MSW, Community Impact Director, describes the need for grief and loss training in the school setting, “The pandemic has drawn attention to grief and loss and how kids are grieving at school. Grief doesn’t have an on off switch, kids are bringing their grief to school. As Southern AZ’s grief and loss experts, Tu Nidito is available to help school personnel better support students during their grief journey. She continued, “one of our core values is – we respond – the pilot training helps us respond to our community’s unmet needs. Equipping school staff with the tools and skills to facilitate a grief and loss group at their school increases a student’s accessibility to peer grief support, thereby helping to ensure that no one (student?) grieves alone”.
Tu Nidito completed the first pilot program for the Vail Unified School District, training 30 school counselors and student service coordinators, on the Tu Nidito model and how to implement best practices when facilitating a support group at their schools. The curriculum includes discussion topics and activities that focus on identifying and expressing emotions, developing coping strategies while at the same time decreasing feelings of isolation and building connections with other students.
Jill Wells, Family Resource Coordinator for the Vail School District, brought the training to the district and participated, she shared, “thank you for all the great information, I loved that you included reminders on how to talk and what to say, and that it takes practice and we should all be practicing.” Her team gave the training great praise saying they want more.
“We are inspired by the Vail Scholl District’s response to our Grief and Loss group training program,” said Liz McCusker, Executive Director, Tu Nidito. “We know the more we provide support, resources and education to our community the closer we come to our vision – No child grieves alone.”
Our partners at NPR dive deeper into the impact of grief and loss post pandemic:
Losing a parent in childhood is the kind of trauma that can change the trajectory of kids’ lives, putting them at risk of having symptoms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress and even poor educational outcomes. Yet few schools have resources in place to help kids going through this. The problem has come into sharp relief during the COVID-19 crisis, which left more than 200,000 kids newly bereft of a parent or primary grandparent caregiver, according to some estimates.
Read the article here