David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP
Bereavement --Talking With Children About Death
Children do not respond to death as adults do. Their normal reactions are much more natural, curious and varied, until that is changed by the adult world.
David J Schonfeld, MD, FAAP a developmental-behavioral pediatrician, adn the Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, comes on the show to discuss how to help a child through bereavement, talking with children about financial difficulties within the home and helping children deal with a crisis.
Dr. Schonfeld is a developmental-behavioral pediatrician and the Thelma and Jack Rubinstein Professor of Pediatrics, Director of the Division of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, and Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. He is a member of the National Commission on Children and Disasters, the Disaster Mental Health Subcommittee of the National Biodefense Science Board Federal Advisory Committee, and the American Academy of Pediatrics Disaster Preparedness Advisory Council. Dr. Schonfeld is also Professor Adjunct of Pediatrics at Yale University School of Medicine and Honorary Faculty at the Università del Piemonte Orientale (Novara, Italy) and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Brussels, Belgium) 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. 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 flooding from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and Hurricane Ike in Galveston 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 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.
Melanie Cole, M.S.