Occasionally at LTH, we have to deal with a situation in which a colleague or student dies. In these situations, we primarily have to be able to acknowledge and provide space and opportunity to process the emotional response of those affected. This also involves providing an opportunity to respectfully gather to reflect on what has happened and remember the deceased.
The crisis plan is first and foremost intended for crisis management in the event of a death, but it can also be applied in the event of a serious accident or other crisis situation.
Model for crisis management in the event of a sudden death – being informed
Those concerned must be informed of what has happened as soon as possible. This is important in order to avoid rumours and uncertainty. When the situation involves a student, the person who is first notified about it should contact one of LTH’s student welfare officers. If the situation involves a member of staff, the person who is first notified about it should contact the head of the relevant department.
We often organise a memorial gathering for those concerned as soon as possible in order to provide an opportunity to express and process their feelings about the situation. The memorial gathering is open to all. It is important that the gathering is held very soon after the event. You are welcome to say a few words or participate in some other way in the memorial gathering. Contact the head of department or student welfare officer for information about the date and venue of the gathering.
Events of this nature give rise to many emotions related to the situation, as well as emotions that originate from previous, sometimes unprocessed, events. Strong emotions of an existential nature and feelings of guilt are often brought to the surface in crisis situations. It is important to be aware that reactions sometimes occur a long time after the event. It is possible to arrange individual or group counselling, and we emphasise this when informing those concerned about the situation.
It is important for the family that LTH clearly shows its respect for the gravity of the situation. This takes place first and foremost through the approach of those concerned, as well as through certain formalities:
We fly the flag at half-mast outside Kårhuset and sometimes also outside other relevant buildings, and have a candle burning at Studiecentrum. The flag is flown at half-mast when we are notified of the death and on the day of the funeral.
Information on why the flag is flying at half-mast will be published on the LTH website.
The degree programme or department concerned arranges for flowers to be sent to the funeral.
A representative of LTH attends the memorial gathering and possibly also the funeral.