The Grief Directory, in collaboration with Pehchan and The University of Lahore’s First South Asia Regional Conference on Child Rights held a workshop, “Building a New Normal” which dealt with grief and loss in children , particularly that associated with political violence . The workshop participants included stakeholders such as policy makers, educationists, clinicians, parents and children

Dr Karen Olness, Professor Emerita of Paediatrics  Global Health and Diseases at Case Western University in Cleveland Ohio, USA was a key speaker at the workshop and gave a lecture on the development stages of children in grief . The purpose of the workshop was to identify issues, think of strategies and make recommendations on which a way forward could be designed. The participants were divided in groups in which they discussed culture-specific issues pertaining to children in grief and how groups such as parents, teachers, health professional and the media can play a more positive role in supporting these children . Mrs. Anjum Ahmed, Principal of Lahore Preschool and Learning Alliance, highlighted the way in which schools part can play an important role in creating a new normal for children in grief , while Dr. Shahryar Jovinda, an eminent Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, enlightened the participants on the different signs to look out for in such children .

Recommendations included steps that the government, schools and media could take to support families and children who are grieving. Participants also provided feedback with regards to how important a learning experience the workshop was for them at an individual level. Aligned with The Grief Directory’s  mission of building a bridge of compassion, this workshop helped to begin an important conversation. In the future TGD hopes to organize and support more such events which are a step, however small,  in the right direction.