Sometimes the best therapy is a therapy dog with glasses.


Crisis Preparation is a Gift to Your School

A crisis event that impacts students and staff is something we hope never occurs, but that is not how life works. Just in January, COJ assisted in three different crisis responses. Two schools were thrust into grief with the death of a student, and the Boys and Girls Club of West Chester experienced the sudden death of one of their beloved directors.

Our team was grateful to serve as part of these crisis responses, and our particular expertise is helping those affected “be present to the present difficult moment.” We help students and staff open up, walk through a mix of strong emotions, and even find joy in sharing pictures and special memories of the one who died.

Crisis events often involve a death, and many are sudden and unpredictable. Crises may impact just a small number of students but have the potential to impact the whole school and staff. For these reasons, COJ is ready with training to help schools be proactive in getting a crisis team, procedures, and best practices in place so that if a tragic loss does occur, your staff is ready with equipped personnel, counselors, knowledge, and community resources at hand.

One of January’s crisis events was due to the death of a student in a Hamilton school. COJ bereavement facilitator Faith Nicolet was part of their crisis response and afterward shared with our team the growth she has witnessed in the district over the last three years. “It is remarkable how better prepared they are for these events now because they know the best practices to follow that they’ve seen help their students the most,” she said.

Alex Sorrentino, the district’s Supervisor of Mental Health concurs: “Hamilton City Schools continue to refine our process and procedures in grief support for students, staff and our whole community. Companions on a Journey has been an integral partner and source of best practices in the continuum of grief support.”

If you would like to learn more about preparing for crisis support in your school, reach out to Laura Holmes, our Bereavement School Manager, at