An Investigation Of The Grief Counseling Services Available In The Middle Schools And High Schools In The State Of Mississippi

Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

OMEGA--Journal of Death and Dying


Exercise Science


Although thousands of adolescents each year experience the death of a significant person, there is little evidence that the schools have taken on the responsibility of providing grief counseling services. This study investigated the grief counseling services in the middle schools and high schools in the State of Mississippi. The schools were identified by surveying the counselors, employed by those schools, who held membership in the Mississippi School Guidance Counselors Association. Four hundred and thirteen surveys were mailed and two hundred and thirty-three of those returned were usable. Four hypotheses were tested using a chi-square analysis at p < 0.05 level of significance. It was reported by the counselors that 42 percent of the schools did have grief counseling services available to the students; that within that 42 percent stating grief counseling was available, 67 percent reported that grief counseling services were implemented as a result of a sudden death to a member of the school community; that of the reported 42 percent of the schools which had grief counseling available, 81 percent reported it to be an ongoing service; and that of the 42 percent which reported their schools provided grief counseling, 68 percent reported the guidance counselor provided the service. These findings and the findings of other studies reviewed and reported indicate that there is a real need for school administrators to provide or make available grief counseling services for students in the middle schools and high schools in the State of Mississippi.