Monday, June 27, 2016

Disaster Resources

Disaster Resources

Mass Shootings / Mass Violence

Fact Sheets and Resources

7 ways to talk to children and youth about the shootings in Orlando

Responding to the Tragedy in Orlando: Helpful Responses for LGBTQ People and Allies

Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting

Helping your child manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting

How to talk with children about difficult news and tragedies

How much news coverage is okay for children?

Building resilience to manage indirect exposure to terror

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)

In response to the Orlando nightclub hate crime and act of terrorism, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed resources to help families and communities respond:
Talking to Children about the Shooting
Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting
Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists about the Shooting
Tips for Parents on Media Coverage
Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting
After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal
Parents Tips for Helping Preschool-Aged Children after Disasters
Parents Tips for Helping School-Aged Children after Disasters
Guiding Adults in Talking to Children about Death and Attending Services
Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of a Shooting: Tips for Parents and Professionals
Helping Youth after Community Trauma: Tips for Educators
Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers
Sibling Death and Childhood Traumatic Grief: Information for Families
LGBTQ Issues and Child Trauma
LGBTQ Youth: Voices of Trauma, Lives of Promise (Video)
Safe Spaces. Safe Places for Traumatized LGBTQ Youth (Video)
LGBTQ Youth and Trauma: Information for Mental Health Professionals


Incidents of mass violence

Mainstream media – articles and videos

Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Here’s Why You Feel Actual Pain Over The Orlando Shooting
Research shows that following devastating news can take a major toll on mental health. But, in a way, you can’t help but follow along. Studies suggest the mind has a natural negativity bias, which compels you to pay closer attention to tragedies than uplifting news. (Huffington Post, June 13, 2016: Lindsay Holmes)

VA Deploys Mental Health Staff in Orlando After Mass Shooting
In a statement released Monday afternoon, the VA said its services would be available to veterans and department employees, as well as the general public "in the wake of the tragic mass shooting." (, June 13, 2016: Bryant Jordan)

UnitedHealthcare offers free mental health counseling to anyone, insured or not
UnitedHealth Group has opened their mental-health counseling help lines to anyone (literally anyone, you do not have to be insured by UnitedHealthcare) affected by Sunday morning’s events. (, June 13, 2016: Holly Kapherr)

The Orlando Shooting Could Have Long-Term Effects on LGBTQ Mental Health
The Orlando shooting may take an invisible toll on the mental health of LGBTQ people worldwide. What happened at Pulse was a clear act of hate-based violence, occurring in a historically safe space. (Yahoo! News / .Mic, June 13, 2016, Jordyn Taylor)

Orlando authorities could take mental health cues from Aurora tragedy
City officials have reached out to their counterparts in Florida to offer support. Some witnesses to the 2012 theater tragedy also have sought help processing the mass shooting that took place nearly 2,000 miles away, a reminder of how such incidents span both time and distance.

Could you be next? Coping with fear after the Orlando shootings
Will the shootings take an emotional toll on many who've been watching the tragedy and its fallout from afar? (CBS News, June 13, 2016: Mary Brophy Marcus)

Coping with Grief and Anxiety in the Wake of the Orlando Shooting
This article talks about the ways people were affected by the tragedy and offers suggestions on how to support those directly affected and how to look out for one’s own mental health. (Talkspace, June 14, 2016: Joseph Rauch)

Zika Virus

Fact Sheets and Resources

World Health Organization

Psychosocial support for pregnant women and for families with microcephaly and other neurological complications in the context of Zika virus: Interim guidance for health-care providers

This document from the World Health Organization describes guidance for a supportive response by healthcare providers (e.g. physicians, nurses), focusing primarily on women affected by Zika virus infection during pregnancy and their families, for their mental health and psychosocial needs. This is available as a free download at:

Assistant Secretary for Preparedness Response, Department of Health and Human Services

Promoting Stress Management for Pregnant Women during the Zika Virus Disease Outbreak: A guide for healthcare providers.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Fact Sheets and Posters in Different Languages
Fact sheets and posters are available in multiple languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Tagalog, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Creole, and Korean. “Ideas for Talking to Your Children About Zika” is one of resources available.

Mainstream media

Zika-associated mental health burdens: is little knowledge a dangerous thing?
Today Infectious Diseases of Poverty has published an opinion piece on the recent Zika outbreak. Here, the co-author of the article explains more about how little knowledge of the virus could be dangerous to those living in areas at risk. (, April 20, 2016: Andrew Taylor-Robinson)

Fort McMurray Wildfire

Mainstream media

Fort McMurray youth feel guilty for taking town for granted before fires
Experts say parents should watch children for signs of trauma for several months. (CBC News, June 1, 2016: Marion Warnica)

Returning Fort McMurray residents face long road to recovery
Taking stock and establishing routines can help create feelings of normalcy, experts suggest. (CBC News, June 1, 2016: Amy Husser)

Texas Floods

Mainstream media

Red Cross mental health volunteers go to aid of Texas flooding victims
Red Cross Volunteer Talks About Texas Floods
Maui Red Cross Workers Deploy to Texas Flood Areas
Red Cross volunteers from Dayton head to flooded Texas
Additional Volunteers Assisting Texas Flood Victims


Books available for free download

Healthy, Resilient, and Sustainable Communities After Disasters: Strategies, Opportunities, and Planning for Recovery
In the devastation that follows a major disaster, there is a need for multiple sectors to unite and devote new resources to support the rebuilding of infrastructure, the provision of health and social services, the restoration of care delivery systems, and other critical recovery needs. In some cases, billions of dollars from public, private and charitable sources are invested to help communities recover. National rhetoric often characterizes these efforts as a "return to normal." But for many American communities, pre-disaster conditions are far from optimal. Large segments of the U.S. population suffer from preventable health problems, experience inequitable access to services, and rely on overburdened health systems. A return to pre-event conditions in such cases may be short-sighted given the high costs - both economic and social - of poor health. Instead, it is important to understand that the disaster recovery process offers a series of unique and valuable opportunities to improve on the status quo. Capitalizing on these opportunities can advance the long-term health, resilience, and sustainability of communities - thereby better preparing them for future challenges.

Free PDF:

Increasing National Resilience to Hazards and Disasters: The Perspective from the Gulf Coast of Louisiana and Mississippi: Summary of a Workshop
Natural disasters are having an increasing effect on the lives of people in the United States and throughout the world. Every decade, property damage caused by natural disasters and hazards doubles or triples in the United States. More than half of the U.S. population lives within 50 miles of a coast, and all Americans are at risk from such hazards as fires, earthquakes, floods, and wind. The year 2010 saw 950 natural catastrophes around the world--the second highest annual total ever--with overall losses estimated at $130 billion. The increasing impact of natural disasters and hazards points to increasing importance of resilience, the ability to prepare and plan for, absorb, recover from, or more successfully adapt to actual or potential adverse events, at the individual , local, state, national, and global levels.

Free PDF:

Building Community Disaster Resilience Through Private-Public Collaboration

Natural disasters--including hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and floods--caused more than 220,000 deaths worldwide in the first half of 2010 and wreaked havoc on homes, buildings, and the environment. To withstand and recover from natural and human-caused disasters, it is essential that citizens and communities work together to anticipate threats, limit their effects, and rapidly restore functionality after a crisis. Free PDF:

Thank you to the APA Disaster Response Network for these resources