Each workplace and supervisor will, of course, approach these issues in their own way.
If you engage in conversation with your intern(s), we recommend using the following best practices:
- Be authentic. Let them know you are willing to talk.
- Create the opportunity for conversation, but leave the decision up to the intern. Do not force interns into a discussion, as this can further a sense of trauma.
- Listen actively and ask questions. Seek to understand their perspective, rather than to find agreement.
- Be mindful of your position as a supervisor and adult in their life. Interns are young people still developing their own world view. They do not always have the experience or knowledge you bring to your professional role, but they possess the same depth of feeling and a wealth of personal experiences. Just hearing them out can be a powerful act of support.
- Practice self care. We understand that these issues also impact supervisors, and you may need time to process before you can be of support to your intern.
If you would like to explore further, please check out the following resources, mostly compiled by our partners at Sprockets.
American Psychological Association: Helping Your Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
American Psychological Association: Managing Your Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting
National Association of School Psychologists: Addressing Grief
Teaching Tolerance: Racism and Police Violence
Contact Right Track at (651) 266-6363 or RightTrack@ci.stpaul.mn.us