Support for school staff: talking with children about illness and death during COVID-19

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In response to the current situation, University of Oxford have developed the attached guide to support COVID 19school staff with talking to children about illness and death, specifically in the context of COVID-19.  As background, also attached below are two short journal articles from the Lancet which discuss the importance of communication with children and highlight some key aspects of their developmental understanding of illness transmission and death.  This work draws on well-established research and internationally recognised expertise in the communication of life-threatening illness and death to families and children. The University of Oxford led a Lancet series (2019), including an international expert group which developed a framework for healthcare professionals supporting communication.

All the resources that they have produced about communicating with children can be found here and are freely available to distribute and share.  We hope these will be of relevance and interest to the schools in your region and would welcome support in ensuring their dissemination.

  • Lancet June 2020 - Talking to children about illness and death of a loved one during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Lancet March 2020 - Protecting the psychological health of children through effective communication about COVID-19