When tragedy hits a community, the ripple effects can be felt for weeks, months and years to come. The professional care provided in those early stages of trauma can have a significant effect on the recovery of children, staff and families, which is why Fegans has developed a rapid crisis response service to tragic events such as child suicide.

Sadly, since the pandemic, the need for mental health support is now greater than ever.

Fegans has supported numerous families and school staff affected by tragedies in the past year, where young people have publicly attempted suicide or have actually taken their own lives. It is in times like these that speed, professionalism and compassionate care is essential, not just for those closely involved, but for the entire school community.

Generous donations, pro-active school leadership and a loyal commitment from our therapists make this effective emergency service possible.

Fegans Crisis Response Service is available immediately after, and in the weeks that follow a school tragedy and includes;

· Zoom counselling sessions for any pupils who want to talk to a therapist

· Counsellor led drop-in sessions for school staff as frequently as required

· Talks to students on grief/ shock/ dealing with emotions/ understanding suicide

· Talks to parents on how to support their children after an incident

· Ongoing counselling sessions for those pupils most affected by the tragedy

Every individual responds to such devastating news differently, but in a spate of multiple pupil suicides at a local school, it quickly became apparent just how much staff were struggling with the news themselves, whilst trying to support the children and young people in their care.

“The sessions have provided a safe space for staff to reflect on their own thoughts and feelings, process these and at times just to cry for the whole session, as words were not enough. Having a space and time allocated to them made them feel looked after in order to be there for their students during these challenging times.”

Whilst it is essential we are there for school communities in such heart-breaking circumstances, our hope is that we continue to reach troubled young people before suicide is considered or attempted.

Thankfully most of Fegans’ work continues to be preventative; catching children before it is too late.

Every week we counsel around 450 children who are struggling, and now as part of Spurgeons Children’s Charity, we will reach even more children in need.

“All the children in receipt of Fegans’ counselling were referred for serious social, emotional and mental health issues. The sessions allowed the children to talk in a safe, trusting environment and the difference it has made is incredible.

Thanks to the work of Fegans, we are now seeing happy children, who have rebuilt their sense of identity, improved their mental health, their friendships and who are flourishing academically and socially as a result. One person’s wellbeing has a direct impact on another’s wellbeing; therefore, Fegans is not just impacting the lives of individuals, but whole families, friendship groups and classes. School Head