Guide for Returning to School after a Tragic Event

This document has been prepared to provide a more concrete picture of the trauma experienced by young people so their teachers can provide them with better support. Not all traumatic experiences inevitably cause post-traumatic stress disorder in every individual. Our goal is to share practical tools that will enable education professionals to develop an appropriate approach grounded in compassion and support. Although all the information contained in this handbook is not always directly related to the exact words of each of our contributors, it summarizes the ideas of our primary experts and is based on the current scientific literature.


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Writing and research
Louise-Marie Lacombe, Researcher – Business and Justice Programs

Professionals and partners 

  • Pina Arcamone, Director General of the Missing Children’s Network
  • Christine Carretta, teacher and specialist in learning difficulties and behaviour
  • Dr. Gilles Chamberland, psychiatrist at the Institut Philippe-Pinel
  • Allessandra Chan, psychologist and author
  • Roxanne Côté, La Maison des Petits Tournesols
  • Gilles Deslauriers, president of La Maison des Petits Tournesols
  • Anick Dumais, Assistant Principal of École secondaire Armand-Corbeil
  • Vanessa Germain, psychologist and author
  • Anne-Lise Lansard, M.A., Research Professional at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
  • Danielle Maltais, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Human and Social Sciences at the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi (UQAC)
  • Josée Masson, social worker, founder and Director of Deuil-Jeunesse
  • Marie-Christine Michaud, criminologist and Coordinator of the CAVAC network
  • Maria Mourani, criminologist, sociologist and founder and CEO of Mourani-Criminologie
  • Éric Ramirez, social worker and coordinator of La Maison des Petits Tournesols
  • Marie-France Raymond, Ph.D in comparative education, psychologist and resource teacher
  • André Renaud, psychologist and psychoanalyst
  • Marie-Pier Ruel, psychologist at the Hôpital Rivière-des-Prairies, psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents
  • Monique Séguin, researcher at the Université du Québec en Outaouais and postvention specialist

Testimonials and questions
The trauma survivors whose stories added so much to this handbook. Thank you for your resilience and your desire to help others. The teachers who sent us their questions that enabled us to answer them in our handbook. Thank you!

Financial support
The publication of this document was made possible through the financial assistance of the Québec Ministère de la Justice.

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