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OA37 Compassionate classrooms: supporting teachers to support children living with grief and loss
  1. Jim Rhatigan,
  2. Marie Richardson and
  3. Kathleen McLoughlin
  1. Milford Care Centre, Ireland


Background Milford Care Centre’s social work service is often contacted by teachers following a death within the school community. The team recognised the need to engage in a more proactive, health-promoting manner to help teachers normalise the experience of grief and loss, empowering them to provide support to pupils following bereavement.

Aim To develop and evaluate a brief intervention for teachers, as part of Milford Care Centre’s Compassionate Communities programme, to support children experiencing bereavement.

Methods A five-hour experiential workshop was developed and piloted with (1) a group of teachers and (2) staff working with early school completion programmes across the City. The teacher workshop was evaluated using a pre/post design measuring death anxiety and self-reported confidence. A qualitative evaluation, of both workshops will be presented from both the facilitator and participant perspective.

Results The pilot highlighted that the intervention is acceptable and demonstrated both a significant reduction in death anxiety and improvement in self-reported confidence for teachers who participated.

Conclusions The Compassionate Classrooms: Working with Grief and Loss intervention can reduce death anxiety and improve teachers’ confidence. The intervention will be shared with the audience for local adaptation.

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