Last Friday, 13 September, Tracy Rawlins, Training Coordinator for PatchSA travelled to Gauteng to give a presentation at the Traumatic Incident Response Associations South Africa (TIRA-SA) annual forum.
The topic for the forum for the first day was Grief and Bereavement. Well known Pastor Braam Klopper and grief counsellor presented on ‘Towards understanding and treatment of bereavement” in the morning and Tracy presented in the afternoon.
Her talk had two sessions, the first being Grief, Loss and Bereavement in Children and the second session, ‘Talking to children about their own death or death of a sibling’.
The delegates consisted of a group of pastors, preachers, social workers, trauma counsellors, psychologists, teachers and a play therapist. Tracy reports that feedback received was that the presentations were well received by the group as the need to talk about death and dying in children still largely remains a taboo subject.
A question was raised by a junior school teacher on how to assist children in the classroom where there has been a death of a schoolmate and how to talk to children when a child in the class has a life-threatening illness and is waiting for a transplant.
Due to time restraints, there was not sufficient time to discuss this in detail it highlighted a huge gap – that being the need for teachers to be trained in loss, grief and bereavement. Much interest was shown in PatchSA and there has been a request to possibly facilitate further grief and bereavement workshops in the near future.
After the session, Tracy said, “Fittingly, the TIRASA slogan is “creating patches of normality”. I believe we at Patch can work very well with TIRA in the future, exploring ways to collaborate.”
For further details about TIRA – SA visit their website