SHATTERED LIVES with Donna R. Gore, “LadyJustice”
Examining the effects of those who have survived violent crime and how it has impacted their lives.
Real people, real tragedy, real help.
Saturdays at 5pm ET Listen LIVE: CLICK HERE
How do children handle crisis and chaos in their lives? Whether within the confines of a dysfunctional family, or in the context of a public, traumatic event, children must be taught how to process the information and their feelings about it if they are going to be able to function normally.
Perhaps one of the reasons we see a cycle of mental illness, or adverse reactions to crisis in some families is because before we are born our cells contain the messages from the events which our mothers are experiencing, whether good or bad, and can determine how our own bodies and minds will react to a similar situation. (see the study of epigenetics)
To further discuss grief and bereavement of children, our guest, Dr. David Schonfeld will help listeners understand a child’s reaction to disaster and loss and how to best guide them through loss of a parent or friend.
David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP – Dr. Schonfeld is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and the Pediatrician-in-Chief and Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Drexel University College of Medicine. He is a member the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council and the Sandy Hook Commission in CT, and served as a Commissioner for the National Commission on Children and Disasters. Dr. Schonfeld is also Professor Adjunct of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine, Visiting/Honorary Faculty at the Università del Piemonte Orientale (Novara, Italy) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium) and Guest Professor of Chongqing Medical University (Chongqing, China) and coordinates the mental health component of the European Masters in Disaster Medicine course in Italy.
Dr. Schonfeld established the School Crisis Response Program in 1991, which provided training to tens of thousands of school-related personnel in school systems throughout the country and abroad and provided technical assistance in hundreds of school crisis events. He consulted to the NYC Department of Education to help optimize the infrastructure within the system for crisis preparedness and response and to provide training to and technical assistance in the aftermath of the events of September 11, 2001, which included the training of approximately 1,000 district and school-level crisis teams. In 2005, Dr. Schonfeld was awarded funding by the September 11th Children’s Fund and the National Philanthropic Trust to establish a National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement; additional funding from the New York Life Foundation provides partial support for ongoing services. The goal of the NCSCB is to promote an appreciation of the role schools can serve to support students, staff, and families at times of crisis and loss; to collaborate with organizations and agencies to further this goal; and to serve as a resource for information, training materials, consultation, and technical assistance. Dr. Schonfeld has provided consultation and training on school crisis and pediatric bereavement in the aftermath of a number of school crisis events and disasters within the United States and abroad, including school and community shootings in Newtown, CT, Aurora, CO and Chardon, OH; flooding from Hurricanes Sandy in NYC and NJ, Katrina in New Orleans and Ike in Galveston; tornadoes in Joplin, MO and Alabama; and the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China.
Dr. Schonfeld has authored articles, book chapters, and a handbook on school crisis preparedness and a book for teachers on supporting the grieving student (The Grieving Student: A Teacher’s Guide; published by Brookes Publishing; released September 1, 2010) and has provided presentations and consultations throughout the United States and abroad on the topic of pediatric bereavement and the mental health needs of children in crisis situations. In addition, Dr. Schonfeld is actively engaged in school-based research (funded by NICHD, NIMH, NIDA, the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, William T Grant Foundation, and other foundations) involving children’s understanding of and adjustment to serious illness and death and school-based interventions to promote adjustment and risk prevention. He was President of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics from September 2006-07.