An innovative training CD-Rom to support professionals working with bereaved children and young people is being launched today by NHS Greater Glasgow's Family Bereavement Service (FBS).
The Good Grief CD-Rom has been developed by the FBS to help train teachers and health professionals who are working with bereaved families. Funded by the Education Department of Glasgow City Council, the CD-Rom will be used in every school in the city by pastoral care staff. The package is designed to give information and support to children who have suffered a bereavement. FBS can also work with parents, siblings and carers of children who have died.
Irene Court from the Family Bereavement Service hopes it will become a useful tool: "Working with children who have lost a loved one can be quite a difficult thing to do, so it's important that people they see most, their teachers, are properly trained in how to help them. School is very often the place where children's grief can show, because they're often concerned about protecting their families. We wanted to contribute to giving people the best possible training and making sure our fellow professionals are as well-prepared as they can possibly be.
"Calling the CD Good Grief was a deliberate decision. Bereaved youngsters can be helped to get through their grief and if we can contribute to making that happen, then we'd be more than happy."
Councillor Margaret McCafferty, the Convener of Education Services at Glasgow City Council, said: "Dealing with grief is a very personal and often difficult process. This CD-Rom will boost the support services which are currently available which help our young citizens to come to terms with losing someone close to them".
Twenty-year-old Sean Neilson features on the Good Grief CD-Rom. He first went along to the Family Bereavement Service when his younger brother Ryan died six years ago, and says he would have found it very difficult to cope without them; "I was only fourteen when Ryan died and looking back I think that's a really difficult time for someone to cope with a loss. The help I got - and still get - from the Bereavement Service was incredible. People from all kinds of different faiths, different backgrounds and different areas go there and everyone is welcome.
"Having the Good Grief CD-Rom in schools is a fantastic idea. Quite often when someone dies the first instinct is to try to shield kids from what's going on, and not everyone would think to seek support for a child. But in my experience it really made a difference and so I think helping professionals in schools to recognise how they can assist a youngster who's bereaved is a brilliant idea."
Produced by the Family Bereavement Service and production company 55 Degrees, the CD-Rom has been funded by the Education Department of Glasgow City Council. It is an interactive tool that seeks to advise professionals on how to work with bereaved families who have lost children, and children who have lost loved ones.
The Family Bereavement Service provides counselling and support to families whose child has died and to children and young people who have experienced the death of a loved one. They are based at Hawthorn House on the Royal Hospital for Sick Children site, and operate from Monday to Friday as a support service.
Notes for Editors
* The Family Bereavement Service can be contacted by phone on 0141 201 9257, or via email at [email protected]
* For more information contact Annalena Winslow at NHS Greater Glasgow Communications on 0141 201 4447.