Resources Addressing Trauma, Violence, and Grief
Resources for Parents and Educators
- The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement at the University of Southern California developed a guide for parents on how to talk with children about the mass shooting in Orlando.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides resources for a variety of audiences, including school personnel.
- “Talking to Children about the Shooting” offers helpful information for educators and parents on discussing the tragedy with children.
- NCTSN’s “Tips for Parents on Media Coverage” provides parents with guidance on helping children understand and cope with what they see and hear in the news regarding the shooting.
- A “Trauma Toolkit for Educators” includes information about responding to a school crisis, school safety, the effects of trauma, disaster response, and service interventions; a list of web resources is also available.
- The National Center for Trauma-Informed Care is operated by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). The website provides information on trauma-informed care, links to models that could be adapted for implementation by schools, and information on training and technical assistance support.
- The American Academy of Pediatrics’ “Talking with Children” provides resources to help parents talk to children about violence and disasters.
- Mental Health America’s “Helping Children Cope with Tragedy Related Anxiety” provides helpful suggestions on how to discuss anxiety caused by a traumatic event based on the child’s maturity.
As educators, the safety and well-being of our students, colleagues, and school community is of paramount importance. Please share these resources with staff and families in your districts.
- Restoring a sense of well-being in children after a disaster (Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress)
- After a loved on dies — how children grieve and how parents and other adults can support them (New York Life Foundation)
- Talking to children about violence (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Identifying seriously traumatized children (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Communication barriers and opportunities and related topics about death (Clinical Center, NIH)
- Guidelines for planning, suggestions, activities for memorials (National Association of School Psychologists)
- Guidelines on commemoration of students at time of graduation (National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement)
- Providing psychosocial support to children and families in the aftermath of disasters and crises (American Academy of Pediatrics)
- Talking to children about terrorist attacks and school and community shootings (Coalition to Support Grieving Students)
Resources for Supporting Inclusive, Positive School Climates for All Students
Resources for supporting LGBTQ students:
- The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is a national education organization dedicated to ensuring safe, positive, and inclusive school environments regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. GLSEN’s “Ready, Set, Respect! Elementary Toolkit” provides elementary educators with a framework for fostering safe, affirming school climates for all students with a focus on the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ) community.
- There are several toll-free hotlines devoted to supporting the LGBTQ community:
- The Trevor Project (youth-focused): 1-866-488-7386 and www.thetrevorproject.org
- GLBT National Youth Talkline: 1-800-246-PRIDE (1-800-246-7743)
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline: 1-888-843-4564
Resources for supporting Muslim students:
The Islamic Network Group (ING) is a nonprofit, national organization and its mission is to counter prejudice and discrimination against American Muslims through teaching. This organization provides cultural seminars for educators and can provide guest speakers for presentations or panel discussions. Some examples include:
- Education – Understanding Muslim Students: Fostering an Inclusive Environment
- Responding to Increased Bullying of Muslim/Arab/South Asian Students at a Time of Crisis
- ING Staff Speak About Educator Resources on Paris Attacks
- Bullying Prevention Guide
- Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, located in Bloomfield, Connecticut, is a local resource for Muslim and non-Muslim students alike for promoting tolerance and countering religious prejudice and discrimination.
Training Resources and Classroom Tools for Educators
National Child Traumatic Stress Network Learning Center offers a free online learning center providing access to several archived sessions of interest to education professionals. The Schools and Trauma Speaker Series has five archived sessions:
- Trauma-informed IEPs
- Evidence-based practices
- Sudden death on a school campus
- Trauma-informed understanding of bullying
- School/mental health partnerships
- Southwest Michigan Children’s Trauma Assessment Center’s School Intervention Project Curriculumresource includes background information on trauma and trauma- informed principles and provides several trauma-informed lesson plans that can be adapted for use with different age groups.
- Education World compiled a list of information, “Helping Children Cope: Teacher Resources for Talking About Tragedy,” focused on the important role of teachers in helping students cope with and understand unspeakable tragedies. This online resource provides links to materials on how to help students cope with loss and how to discuss violence and terrorism, among other topics.
- The National Education Association School Crisis Guide offers educators step-by-step guidelines on preparing for and responding to crises.
Materials through the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI) of Connecticut
CHDI of Connecticut is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health, and early care systems for children across the state. It offers multiple resources on trauma-informed care and pediatric mental health care. Guardians, educators, and community-based health providers may find the following resources to be useful:
- Advancing Trauma-Informed Systems for Children
- Starting Early: The Long Reach of Childhood Trauma
- Improving Outcomes for Children in Schools: Expanded School Mental Health
- Best Practices in School Mental Health
- Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: Sustaining a Highly Effective Intervention
- Developing a Therapeutic Support Service
- RAND Corporation’s “How Schools Can Help Students Recover from Traumatic Experiences Toolkit”: This toolkit provides a menu of programs that schools can implement to help children recover from trauma, categorized by type of trauma. Recommendations for securing program funding are also provided.
- Support for Students Exposed to Trauma: This trauma-specific intervention was designed for implementation by teachers and school counselors, and the program manual, including lesson plans, is available for download.
Additional Resources on Crisis, Trauma, and Disaster
- How to Help Children Cope with a Crisis - Save The Children
- Helping Children Cope With Terrorism - Tips for Families and Educators – NASP
- Promoting Adjustment and Helping Children Cope After Disaster and Crisis – AAP
- Disaster Mental Health and Crisis Stabilization for Children