Bearing Bad Tidings: Death Notification with Competence and Compassion. Why?. It’s the right thing to do. Do the right thing and it’s good for business. Litigation Ongoing coordination with the family Message sent to staff Reputational risk within the community and marketplace
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I am strong enough to handle this/you.
Draw circles of impact. Compassion
Position leadership as competent and compassionate.
Triage – expect resiliency but prepare for additional supports.
Acknowledge what has happened
Deliver information with sensitivity
Acknowledge the event’s impact upon people
Acknowledge the event’s impact upon you
Grant permission for a wide range of reactions
Serves to: Demonstrate leadership strength, align the leader with those led, establish a platform for cohesiveness
Communicate competence and compassion
Visible leadership communicates care and concern for those involved
Summarize what has happened. This is what we know at this time….
Present objective and credible information. OK to read a script. Stick with it!
Serves to: control rumors, reduce anxiety, and return a sense of control to impacted individuals
Transition and Refer
ALWAYS triage to next steps and a future focus
Give people permission to care for themselves. It’s not irreverent or dishonoring to the deceased.
Provide information about Coping – Emphasize resiliency
Focus first on Practical Assistance -- determine basic and practical needs
As indicated, link with Collaborative Services - transition individuals to appropriate level of support and provide information. (EAP, counseling center, community resources, written communications and web resources, telephonic support via a 1-800 number, to continued personal assistance/ intervention)
There is no greater honor and no greater responsibility than to be there on the worst day of someone’s life. We must do it well.
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
US Office of Personnel Management
CCN PracticePoints Archives