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Bereavement in learning institution
A bereavement crisis usually arises from the sudden death of a member of a learning institution. The bereavement may affect the entire school by inducing a posttraumatic stress disorder, mourning, and passionate grief. The extent of the closeness with the decease determines the intensity of the effect across the entire institution, and may vary from one individual to another.
The effect of the crisis will be more emphasized in schools for minors, since they will be exposed to the facts about death for the first time. Therefore, they experience difficulties in coming to terms with the loss, and the realization that life is unpredictable and unfair. In addition, they may be inexperienced on grieving.
To begin with, identification of students who seem deeply affected is the first step towards crisis intervention. The students who are found to be severely affected to be help with only psychological first aid should be put through a comprehensive screening interview (James, 1995).
The screening usually concerns; (a) the students experience and recollection of the episode; (b) whether the incident keeps recurring in the students day to day activities; (c) scrutiny of any effort of the victim to evade any reminders of the episode; (d) check for any signs of elevated physical or mental excitement; (e) sense of guilt by the survivor; (f) invalidity of the previous measures to alleviate the suffering; (g) somatic grievance; (h) self-destructive actions and; (f) evaluation of pre- and post-event performances.
This process generally involves the application of the diagnostic principles proposed by the DSM-IV-TR.
Importantly, some time should be allocated for the comprehensive discussion of the crisis, and any efforts to promptly reintroduce the academic routine should be foregone to allow the completion of the interventional process. Although reverting back to schools normal programs contribute a lot in the normalization of crisis, majority of students will encounter difficulty in readopting the academic schedule while still concerned with resolving the crisis.
Also, it is proven that classroom sessions facilitate student’s transformation from reaction to pro-action. In other words, the students are able to move from mere discussion of the episode to organizing the ways to heal the residual consequences of the crisis. Adopting a pro-active position allows student to develop a sense of strength and reinstitute stability in their lives. In addition, they can attain finality of the event by collaboratively organizing memorials and memorial services.
Basic listening and reaction abilities are prerequisite in the entire procedure of crisis resolution (James, 2008). The preliminary step involves problem identification.
Accurate problem definition helps the experts to understand the motives and concerns of the hostage keeper. Applying certain techniques such as participative listening through confirmation and rephrasing of content, pondering of feelings, summary translation, and unrestricted questions and indicators is useful in allowing the hostage keeper to ventilate feelings (James, 2008).
In addition this procedure facilitates the evaluation of emotional position and psychological condition of the hostage keeper (James, 2008). The hostage keeper is mobilized to reveal his or her story as vividly as possible, through the use of first person participle or owning statements of self revelation, urgency, and emphasis (James, 2008) to create a connection between him or her and the hostage keeper.
In every hostage circumstances, the preliminary corresponding manner between the negotiator and the hostage keeper is that of alliance. In this case, the negotiator assumes the role of bargaining tool between the authorities and the hostage keeper.
Even though the hostage wants the resolution to be achieved soonest, it is important to prolong the process in order to wear down the hostage keeper until she or he become fed up (James, 2008). Thus allowing the hostage keeper to ventilate over along period according to his or her wish is useful on account of time lapse.
Another important aspect of this process of crisis resolution is analysis of the identity of the hostage keeper. Usually identity matters are considered form two perspectives, namely; personal and social. To begin with, personal identity is determined from the unique insight of his or her personal attributes.
On the other hand, social identity concerns those attributes and the emotional contribution attached to individual’s sense of belonging to a certain group (James, 2008). Another significant point concerns allowing the hostage keeper to safe face for social or personal identity purpose is very indispensable. In various cases with different types of hostage keepers, affording them to safe face by working out “honorable” options of the situation very useful tactic for resolving the crisis..
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The effect of the crisis will be more emphasized in schools for minors, since they will be exposed to the facts about death for the first time. Identification of students who seem deeply affected is the first step towards crisis intervention. Basic listening and reaction abilities are prerequisite in the entire procedure of crisis resolution. In every hostage circumstances, the preliminary corresponding manner between the negotiator and the hostage keeper is that of alliance.
Another important aspect of this process of crisis resolution is analysis of the identity of the hostage keeper. The immediate fiscal expense of the latest systemic crisis does not comprehensively depict its total fiscal effect. Circumventing the incidence of a systemic crisis is prerequisite for controlling the cost of systemic crises. Residual threat of a systemic crisis will persist in spite of the regulatory interventions.
James, R. K. (2008). Crisis Intervention Strategies. Stamford, Mass: Cengage Learning.