I hate that I even have to have a crisis bucket. But when I saw Simply Imperfect Counselor’s post on Instagram and her blog of her “Grief Tub,” I knew I needed one on my shelf a long time ago.
Since I’ve been at my school, I have encountered too many student deaths. (ANY is too many- let’s be real.) Unfortunately and fortunately, we have a pretty solid crisis plan that works well for us at our school.
In my crisis bucket, I have:
1- 2 boxes of tissues
2- a few sweet and salty snacks
3- 2 packs of colorful Papermate Flair pens
4- the crisis plan for our school printed out, so any school counselor can take the lead on the day if needed
This is how I use these items:
1 and 2- Self explanatory. We have these wherever we are doing grief counseling. We also grab some bottles of water or a pitcher and fill it with water and have cups in the room where we station ourselves. When we huddle with our team, we decide where we are going to be stationed for the day to welcome students to talk. When students walk in, we have them sign a sheet with their name saying they were there. This way, we can follow back up with individual counseling or know names to invite to a grief small group if necessary.
3- Our school librarian prints a giant poster for the student who has died saying the student’s name at the top. Sometimes it has a yearbook picture of the student if that is available. We make this poster available in our lobby, in our conference room, or in a secluded room that we are doing more intense grief counseling. Students use the nice, Papermate flair pens to sign the poster. We also use these pens for students to write letters to the family or their friends if they want. When an administrator or counselor visit the family or attend the funeral, we bring this with us.
4- My crisis plan includes what to do if you are notified of a student death OUTSIDE of the school day and a second for what to do if you are notified of a student death DURING the school day. Your school may choose to do things differently, or you may already have a great plan in place… this is just what seems to work for us.
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