Following a traumatic incident, it’s important that a young person who has experienced the trauma has a sense of stability, and that their feelings are acknowledged and validated.
Support is particularly important during the first 24 to 48 hours immediately after the incident, as well as during the 2 weeks following the event.
Below are some suggestions in order for you to provide support to the young person in the classroom and school:
- Help the child to feel safe in the classroom
- Minimise stress where possible
- Allow a card or a signal system that the child can use to access some ‘quiet time’, without having to speak in front of the class
- Maintain classroom routine and structure
- Try to identify any triggers in the school environment, such as loud noises, comments from others, changes in routine…
- Identify teachers who the child can talk to for support
- Work with parents/carers to develop a support plan within the school environment
- Ensure appropriate staff are aware of the trauma and can support the young person
- Work to maintain a positive relationship with the young person
- Prepare them for transitions or changes in routine
If a pupil has suffered a traumatic event and the distressing thoughts and feelings surrounding this have not started to reduce after about four weeks, then it is recommended that you refer them via the parents/carers to a GP. From there, a referral may be necessary to a local CAMHS service or a psychologist. A diagnosis of PTSD can only be made following assessment and consultation with a mental health professional.