School psychologists' training and experience in providing grief support

Jacqueline A. Brown, Kara M. Snider, Hannah G. Hall, Jennifer L. Rotzal, Morgan M. Gow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


School-based mental health professionals consistently report that they are either not prepared to support grieving students, or do not have time to integrate crisis intervention support into their hectic schedule. Given that inadequate school mental health services can increase a bereaved student's risk of developing emotional problems, it is critical that school psychologists increase their comfort in grief. This study surveyed 75 school psychologists in the Northwestern United States regarding their training and experience in grief support. A reflexive thematic analysis identified four themes related to the challenges and recommendations in grief support: lack of training, limited role of the school psychologist, lack of formalized grief response system, and lack of school and community resources. Furthermore, only 3% of participants reported taking the lead in providing grief support and 64% provide grief support fewer than five times a year. The majority (81%) reported that they had zero courses devoted to grief support during their graduate degree, with more participants (67%) obtaining grief training postdegree. Study limitations, areas for further research, and implications for schools and school psychologists are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2722-2744
Number of pages23
JournalPsychology in the Schools
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2024


  • challenges
  • grief support
  • recommendations
  • school psychologists
  • training


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