Grief councellors: Needed or not?

A tragic accident and a child dies too young. The school rushes in grief councellors to the classmates.

I have no experience with this phenomenon, except for the numerous newspaper articles to which the above is a summary.

We had a fellow student die when I was in grade school. It was tragic, sad, an opportunity for our trusted teacher to talk/listen about death in general and this student in particular. We got ourselves through it and became just a little bit wiser.

Is the grief councellor influence an example of our being too protective of our kids, or is this a great step in the evolution of a better society? What do grief councellors do between events (I imagine them playing cards then sliding down the bat-pole when the red phone rings - pardon the mixed images).

The current issue of Reason magazine has a great article about the mental health crisis that wasn’t after 9/11, when a lot of people planned for a rush of grief counseling and trauma treatment that no one ever needed.

I think making grief counselors available is a noble idea, but most people have their own ways of coping with grief, and don’t necessarily need a stranger to come in and help them deal with the event. Teachers and school counselors could keep an eye out for students who seem to have dealing with it badly, or who were close to the deceased student, and offer intervention then if it was appropriate and welcome.

Grief counselling on a wholesale basis is another form of a manufactured problem in order to provide sustenance for councellors. Any child or anyone with a problem with a death of a near/dear friend, school mate, work associate, etc should be provided with appropriate counselling. To provide or push it on those not in need is an insult to those individuals way of coping with the problem.