Counseling Resources and Support for Wildcat Students and Staff
Dear Cassville Parents/Guardians,
We are reaching out today with a heavy heart after hearing the news of the tragic loss in our wildcat family. During this time, our primary concern is providing support and comfort to all those affected by this tragedy. The following supports and resources will be available to our students and their families.
- Thursday, June 1st and Friday, June 2nd the district will have counselors available at the middle school to assist students as they express their feelings related to this loss. This is available to any student K-12.
- Counselors will be onsite starting at 7:45 am until 3:00 pm on June 1st and 2nd. Please enter at the Middle School Office to access these services. Counseling staff is also available via email outside of these hours.
- If a parent or student would like to speak with one of our counselors via phone, please feel free to call the Middle School office and one of our counselors will return your call as soon as possible. You may reach the office at 417-847-3136.
Students, staff, and their families will all react in different ways to emergencies of this nature. We wanted to provide you with some guidelines and suggestions to support those who are grieving.
- Let them know how you feel, encourage them to express their feelings and provide support to those who are grieving.
- Do not restrict the amount of time for the conversations to be finished so they do not sense "urgency" in your conversation.
- Be a good listener and accept the words and feelings being expressed. Don't minimize the loss and avoid giving clichés and easy answers.
- Encourage the grieving person to care for him or herself.
- Acknowledge and accept your own limitations. Sometimes you may wish to have the help of outside resources.
- Try to understand the grief process rather than be annoyed by it.
- "I'm sorry" or "I care" is all that is necessary to say; a squeeze of the hand, a hug, and a kiss can say the words.
- Don't say: "You will get over it in time." They will never stop missing the person who died. Time may soften the hurt, but it will not just go away. There will always be a scar.
- Listen, listen, and listen. Talking about the pain slowly lessens its sting. Most bereaved persons need to talk. It is helpful for someone to listen. Try to become an effective listener.
- Encourage expressions of specific feelings: anger, guilt, frustration, confusion, and depression.
- Be patient. Mourning takes time. People need you. Stand by them for as long as possible.
- There is no timetable for grief. Do not give a pep talk or suggest a timetable.
- Talk about the good memories. They help the healing process.
- Suggest that grieving people take part in support groups. Sharing similar experiences helps healing.
- Be there caring, saying, "I'm sorry" and helping in practical ways.
- Sincerely ask, "How are you doing?" Bereaved people can tell if you want to hear "fine" or if you really want to know.
- Help bereaved to eliminate expectations as to how they should feel and when they will be healed.
- Be approachable, aware, and interested.
- Be accepting of the person, of his/her feelings, his/her confusion.
- Acts of thoughtfulness-a note, visit, plant, helpful book, plate of cookies, phone call, invitation to lunch or to go shopping, coffee.
- Be confidential with what is shared with you.
Thank you for your support of our school community as we work together to cope with this tragedy. Please observe your child closely over the next several days and weeks to watch for signs of distress which may indicate a need for additional support and guidance. Feel free to call if you have any questions or concerns.
Cassville R-IV Counseling Staff