The word trauma is used to describe negative events that are emotionally painful and that overwhelm a person’s ability to cope. Trauma can happen as a result of experiencing a traumatic event such as a car accident or the death of a close relative or witnessing a violent crime. Traumatic events can also include direct physical or sexual assault, and various forms of abuse experienced during childhood.
The Institute of Health Visiting has produced a useful guide to understanding trauma including good practice points for supporting a child or young person who has experienced trauma: http://ihv.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/iHV_GPP_Traumatic_Event_5_7_17_web.pdf
One of the most traumatic incidents that a child or young person might be faced with is the death of a friend or family member - and this experience is further complicated when the death is a result of suicide.
Somerset Educational Psychology Service produce advice and information for school staff in dealing with Critical Incidents in Schools.pdf.
The Suicide Bereavement Support Service is available to anyone bereaved by suicide in Somerset. They offer emotional support as well as guidance through the trauma of sorting out personal affairs. Email:
The Rosie Crane Trust is a Somerset based charity offering support to bereaved parents.
Somerset Public Health commissioned Barnado's to produce a film recording the therapeutic journey of some children and young people bereaved by suicide: Mandala therapy group for children affected by suicide.
These sites offer advice to school settings:
Samaritans - school service
Winton’s Wish Supporting a bereaved child - information for schools
Winston’s Wish National Helpline 08452 03 04 05
Support, guidance and information for anyone caring for a bereaved child or a child facing the imminent death of a family member.
Child Bereavement Charity UK
The Child Bereavement Charity (CBC) provides specialised support, information and training to all those affected when a baby or child dies, or when a child is bereaved.
General enquiries: 01494 568900
Childhood Bereavement Network
The Childhood Bereavement Network (CBN) is a national, multi-professional federation of organisations and individuals working with bereaved children and young people.
Cruse Bereavement Care
Cruse Bereavement Care exists to promote the well-being of bereaved people and to enable anyone bereaved by death to understand their grief and cope with their loss.
Helpline: 0844 477 9400
Papyrus (prevention of young suicide)
PAPYRUS is a voluntary UK organisation committed to the prevention of young suicide and the promotion of mental health and emotional wellbeing.
Hope Line UK: 0800 068 41 41 (for practical advice on suicide prevention)
YoungMinds is the national charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
Parents Helpline: 0808 802 5544