Breckland School


Bereavement can have a significant impact on a person’s emotional wellbeing and mental health.

In most cases, children, young people and the adults around them are able to manage their experience of bereavement where the school system provides thoughtful and contingent support.

With a clear narrative for events and careful support, most children, young people and adults can make sense of their experience of loss. In some cases, particularly where the bereavement event might be unexpected or traumatic, the loss can have a significant effect on emotional wellbeing and mental health.

Research shows that mental health disorders are more prevalent in children who have been bereaved. A study published by National Children’s Bureau concluded that bereaved children were approximately one-and-a-half times more likely than other children to be diagnosed with any mental disorder.

A fact-sheet from the Centre for Youth & Criminal Justice cites a range of research about the impact of bereavement:

Research indicates that young people involved in offending are more likely to experience multiple, traumatic or parental bereavements than the general adolescent population (Vaswani,2008). In turn, traumatic and multiple bereavements are linked with a significantly increased risk of depression; and comorbidity (Dowdney, 2000); as well as negative outcomes in relation to education; self-esteem and risk-taking behaviour. (Ribbens McCarthy, 2005)

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