Schools offer grief counseling - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Schools offer grief counseling


While adults are having trouble coming to terms with the violent nature of the killings discovered Monday on Lester Street, classmates who went to school with the children are trying to cope as well.

Wednesday, officials with Memphis City Schools said they were trying to address the psychological fallout head-on.

Once they learned two of the victims went to Southern Avenue Charter School, they deployed a crisis response team.

Grief counselors have been available for students at the school all week.

Students and teachers have counselors on site, and the counselors have access to a crisis hotline.

Memphis City Schools is the only school system in the state with an in-house, licensed mental health center equivalent to one you'd find in the community.

The center's coordinator, Doctor Randy Schnell, said in an interview Wednesday that children need calm and comfort at a time like this.

"For about a week after the incident, we ask parents to pay close attention to the children, provide them emotional support, physical comfort," Schnell said.

Of course, some students are less obvious in displaying distress.

Schnell is asking parents and teachers to keep an eye out for any behavioral changes in their children.

With parental consent, the clinic will offer help to students daily, if necessary.

Schnell said they'll be there to help as long as they are needed.

Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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