Grief Resources for Families
The American Counseling Association is a National Website for coping and counseling resources. See the link below.
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: How to talk about tragic events, especially with children and teens.
The Dougy Center (www.dougy.org) is a National Resource for grieving children with resources for parents and caregivers.
The suggestions below might be helpful as you share and process your thoughts and feelings with people of all ages, but especially with children who are struggling with fear related to mass shootings and gun violence.
RECOGNIZE AND HONOR BIG FEELINGS
The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) tips for parents and educators to talk with children about violence suggests adults:
- Reassure children they are safe and review safety procedures
- Create a sense of safety by returning to normal, predictable routines as soon as possible
- Make time to talk and listen to the concerns and feelings of children
- Limit the use of media consumption of these events to lower their stress and to maintain balance and perspective
- Acknowledge that sleep difficulties are common and can lead to fatigue and poor participation
The American Psychological Association (APA) has tips for managing your own distress following a mass shooting including:
- Reaching out for support from other adults (friend or professional)
- Honoring your feelings and taking time for yourself, especially if you’re experiencing personal loss or grief
- Limiting your amount of media coverage of these events
- Find ways to help in your community
Call the National Parent Helpline at 1-855-4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736) to get emotional support from a trained Advocate. They are available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The APA recommends honesty with children – acknowledging that bad things do happen, but reassuring them with the information that many people are working to keep them safe.
Helping Children Cope With Terrorism from NASP offers tips for families and educators. Translations of this handout are available in Amharic, Chinese, French, Korean, Spanish, and Vietnamese. There is also a companion infographic.
Common Sense Media has suggestions on how to talk to kids about school shootings in a way that’s age appropriate and helps them feel safe again.
Very Well Family provides open-ended questions to discuss school shootings with your child.
While we know schools remain among the safest places for students, we also know that yesterday's shooting in Uvalde, Texas may understandably cause heightened emotions and concern about safety issues.
Please reach out for support as we hold these losses and loved ones in our hearts.