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0-01: An inclusive, respectful school climate
4-11: Crisis response team and plans
6-12: Drug/alcohol-free school policy
7-02: Social services, mental health support
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Federal Emergency Management Agency
National Education Association, Health Information Network
Non-profit health affiliate of NEA, provides health information on topics of concern to educators and students.
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8-05 - Employee assistance programs
 

Provide employees with a work-site environment that encourages them to express their feelings, fears, and anxieties and to rehabilitate during times of personal crisis, personal loss, and school crisis. Provide employee assistance programs that help address these crises as well as mental disorders, and drug- and alcohol-dependence.

   
Rationale
 

Adults need assistance with stressful life situations or these situations will adversely affect job performance and/or conduct. Employee assistance programs can restore employees to levels of full productivity. Staff are more likely to be effective helping students deal with similar issues once their own issues are addressed.

   
Commentary
 

At some time many employees face mental and emotional problems, difficult family responsibilities, financial burdens, legal difficulties, or dependent care needs. Provide free, confidential, short term counseling to help employees identify and deal with stressful problems. Often, school districts require referral arrangements with outside organizations in order to assist with the full range of problems that can confront a staff member. Programs offered should include comprehensive counseling, help for employees to achieve a balance between work and family and other personal responsibilities, and drug/alcohol rehabilitation.

The social environment of the work-site should encourage members of the school staff to discuss stressful situations with their supervisors and other staff. Managers and supervisors must become familiar with employee assistance programs and know how and when to make referrals and/or recommendations to employees who seek help. It is the employee's decision to participate and to follow through with any referral.

During a school crisis (such as a natural disaster, loss, or other trauma), adult staff will need assistance with their own trauma and grief reactions if they are to be helpful to students. Teachers and other staff should receive current information about the crisis, be invited to participate in planning and implementing school-wide interventions, and receive the emotional support they need to work through the stressful situation.

   
REFERENCES
 

Figley CR, Bride BE, Mazza N, eds. Death and Trauma: The Traumatology of Grieving. New York, NY: Taylor & Francis; 1997.

National Education Association, Health Information Network. Violence in Communities and Schools: A Stress Reduction Guide for Teachers and Other School Staff. Washington, DC: National Education Association; 2000.

Vulpitta RT. On-site Emergency Response Planning Guide. Itasca, IL: National Safety Council; 2002.

 
          
 
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