The shooting tragedy in Newton, Connecticut has deeply affected our country. Such incidents of mass violence can lead to emotional distress. Children are particularly vulnerable to such events, especially when the victims of the violence were children. When such events occur, it can be difficult for parents and teachers to know how to help kids understand and cope with the situation. Here are some Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event.
Remember, you are not alone. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration maintains a disaster distress hotline for help. This toll-free helpline operates 24 hours-a-day, seven days a week. This free, confidential and multilingual, crisis support service is available via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (Text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746) to U.S. residents who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of a natural or man-made disaster, incidents of mass violence or any other disasters. Callers are connected to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the network. The helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals and other needed support services.
For more information on coping with violence and traumatic events, visithttp://www.samhsa.gov/trauma/.