Managing and Dealing with Grief and Loss

student with head in hands--grief

It's never easy dealing with loss. It certainly can have an extended effect on students. Even if a student wasn't directly involved with the person who died, there can be a ripple effect that could trigger different emotions or behaviors. We would like to provide you with some tips and resources that might be helpful to you and your child.

Talking to our children about death and loss is difficult, especially when they have experienced the loss of a friend and classmate.  Grief is complicated because children and adolescents are not always developmentally ready to understand or cope with the intense feelings of sadness.   In addition to the loss, they may be challenged with the reality of mortality.  It is important to understand that your child may be experiencing a variety of emotions regardless of their connection to the person.

One of the most important things you as a parent can do to help your child/teen cope with loss is to be a regulating presence.  Listen and validate your child's feelings and allow them to take the lead in identifying their own needs.  Stay connected and check in with them often. 

Consider attending memorial services and/or activities with your child, again to help them regulate their emotions. Attending a funeral is emotionally overwhelming and your child needs you to help them manage intense emotions.  For some, this may be their first experience with death and loss.

BHS Support Services
We are here to help. Counselors and social workers are on staff to help guide students through these difficult times. If you would like your child to visit with one of our counselors or social workers you may contact their office:

School Counselors
Mark Jones
 (Last names A-F)  763-682-8107
Kristen Lane
 (Last names G-K)  763-682-8054
Christina Cox (Last names L-P)  763-682-8075
Jennifer Blair (Last names Q-Z)  763-682-8139

School Social Workers
Krista Kern - 763-682-8119
Jill Levin -763-682-8065

School Psychologist
Heather Thomas - 763-682-8028

Local Mental Health Services
Allina Clinic - 763-682-5225
Bridging Hope Counseling Services - 763-291-5505
Central Minnesota Mental Health Center - Buffalo 763-682-4400
Central Minnesota Mental Health Center - Monticello 763-295-4001
Family Counseling Center - 763-682-5420
Four County Crisis Response Team - 800-635-8008 - 24-Hour Crisis Support
Four County Crisis Response - 800-635-8008 or 320-253-5555
TXT4LIFE - Text "Life" to 61222

Other Resources
The resources below can provide you further information and support.