New York Life’s Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative

Grief Sensitive Badge

The Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative (GSSI) seeks to better equip teachers to care for grieving students by introducing and other valuable grief resources to local schools.

For questions regarding the program, contact

What is a Grief-Sensitive School?

A Grief-Sensitive School is an accredited K-12 public or private institution that commits to help provide a supportive environment for students who have experienced the death of a loved one.

Why should my school participate?

When it comes to grief support at school, many teachers feel under-prepared to help: a recent study revealed that only 7% of classroom teachers have received any amount of bereavement training and 92% of them said childhood grief was a serious problem that deserved more attention from schools. Participating in the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative helps your school personnel to address this training gap and signals to students, parents, and community members alike that your school is strongly committed to supporting its grieving students and their families.

How can my school take part in the program and become a Grief-Sensitive School?

We recognize that schools have a critical role to play in delivering support to their grieving students. To be part of this initiative, we ask that you pledge to foster a more supportive environment for those who are grieving in your school community by:

  • Increasing awareness of the issue of grief at school
  • Sharing information with your school community about
  • Reviewing relevant school policies and procedures
  • Providing specific professional learning opportunities

Additionally, the Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative offers presentations to school staff on key bereavement resources, led by New York Life ambassadors (a minimum of 5 school personnel must attend); schools that commit to become more grief-sensitive following the presentation are also eligible to receive a $500 grant to help enhance their ability to offer grief support and resources.

If you are interested in receiving an in-person Grief-Sensitive Schools presentation and grant from New York Life, please click the button below. If an ambassador is available in your area, New York Life will follow up with you to schedule a presentation.

Grief-Sensitive Schools: A Growing Roster

Schools across the nation are seeking to build a culture of grief support. Check the map to see if your school is part of the program.

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