After a Suicide: A Toolkit for Schools | 45 This appendix contains tools and templates to help carry out different parts of the postvention process. Sample Guidelines for Initial All-Staff Meeting The first meeting with school staff is typically conducted by the Crisis Response Team coordinator and should be held as soon as possible, ideally before school starts in the morning. However, depending on when the death occurs, there may not be enough time to hold the meeting before students begin to hear the news through word of mouth, social media, or other means. If this happens, the Crisis Response Team coordinator should first verify the accuracy of the reports and then notify staff of the death through the school’s predetermined crisis alert system, such as e-mail or calls to classroom phones. Information about the cause of death should be withheld until the family has been consulted. Goals of Initial Meeting Allow at least one hour to do the following: • • Introduce the Crisis Response Team members. • • Share accurate factual information about the death, honoring the family’s request for privacy. • • Allow staff an opportunity to express their own reactions and grief; identify anyone who may need additional support and refer them to appropriate resources. • • Have substitute teachers available to replace any teachers who are too upset to teach (a task for the principal). • • Remind staff of the school’s policy or response following a student death and any considerations specifically for a suicide death. • • Provide appropriate staff (e.g., homeroom teachers or advisors) with a scripted Sample Death Notification Statement for Students, and arrange coverage for any staff person who is unable to manage reading the statement. • • Prepare for student reactions and questions by providing staff with the handouts Tips for Talking about Suicide and Facts about Suicide in Adolescents. • • Share with staff how to handle parent inquiries and plans for communicating with parents, including who parents should contact for further information and resources. • • Explain plans for the day, including locations of crisis counseling rooms or other supports. • • Remind all staff of the following: o o How they respond to the crisis can have a strong impact on their students. They need to project that they are in control and are concerned about their students’ mental health. o o They can play an important role in identifying changes in students’ behavior. Discuss a plan for handling students who are having difficulty. Appendix A: Tools and Templates