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Hey Wellness Warriors!

One of the many hats I wear as a wellness and mental health expert is being a contracted crisis counselor for a few local schools in our area. When I sign my contract with each school, I hope I will never have to actually work with the school. Unfortunately, last week, a young girl died in a car accident, and I was brought in to support the faculty/staff during this difficult time. I often think about crisis management in schools as more of a ‘when’ we will need it, rather than ‘if’ we will need crisis management. I want to applaud the school district for not only having a crisis plan in place but also prioritizing the mental health and wellness of the faculty and staff, as well as the students. Grief and loss are tough emotions to cope with. It is important to realize that grief and loss are part of being human and part of caring and loving others. Below, you will find some do’s and don’ts and myths and facts for handling grief and loss. If you are experiencing extreme grief and loss that is not lifting after some time, you may benefit from talking to a trained professional.

Dos Don’t

Get enough rest Bottle up your emotions

Spend time with friends and family Make any life changes

Feel your feelings Isolate yourself

Maintain a regular diet Judge your emotions

Accept the ups and downs of grieving Use substances

Move your body Look for easy answers

Take it one day at a time Reduce leisure activities

Talk to supportive people Expect to get better in a day

Common Myths Regarding Grief

Myth: The pain will go away faster if you ignore it. Fact: Trying to ignore your pain will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing to occur, it is necessary to actively deal with it.

Myth: It’s important to “be strong” in the face of your loss. Fact: Feeling sad, frightened, or lonely is a normal reaction to loss. Crying doesn’t mean you are weak; it means you are human.

Myth: If you do not cry, it means you are not grieving. Fact: Crying is a normal response to grief, but not the only one. Those who do not cry may feel the pain just as deeply as others; they might just have a different way to show it.

Myth: Moving on with your life means you are forgetting about the person who died. Fact: Moving on means you have accepted the reality of the individual’s death, which is not the same as forgetting.

Myth: The goal is to get over the grief. Fact: We live in a society that is both afraid of death and afraid of emotions. We are not encouraged to express our emotions, and many people view grief as something to get over rather than something to experience.


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