Thursday, October 5, 2017

APA Resources on Managing Distress After Shootings

The American Psychological Association has numerous useful resources available on its website that may be helpful for students, families, and others, including:

Gun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy (an expert panel report)

Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting

Talking to Kids When They Need Help

7 Ways to Talk to Children and Youth about the Shootings in Orlando

Helping Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

How Much News Coverage is OK for Children?

Gun Violence Prevention

APA Initiatives to Prevent Gun Violence

NASP (The National School Psychologists Association) has also offered these resources. In many cases the resources for families are translated into other languages.

1) Educators can reinforce students’ sense of security by making classrooms predictable and welcoming, enabling students to process their reactions to events, providing access to mental health supports as needed, and connecting families with other available resources after school hours. NASP has handouts on reinforcing school safety, helping children after a natural disaster, and supporting relocated students.

2) Schools should provide supportive environments for students to talk about their feelings and concerns which, depending on the school community, may range from physical safety to concerns for the state of the country. NASP has handouts on talking to children about violence and a lesson plan for students about race and privilege.

3) Most children and youth are resilient and will cope well with the support and caring of their families, teachers, friends, and other caring adults. However, some students may be at risk for more intense reactions. NASP has handouts on helping children cope, identifying those most at risk for trauma reactions, and addressing grief.

4) School psychologists can reinforce children’s natural resilience and mental wellness, emphasize the preventive steps that schools can take to maintain a safe and caring school environment, and highlight the compassion of others. NASP has a number of handouts on promoting resilience, supporting mental health, and how administrators can reinforce a sense of school safety.

5) Remember to care for the caregiver. While we support those in need around us, be mindful to care for yourself. Take that time to connect with others and find healthy ways to create some peace. NASP has handouts on care for the caregiver for crisis team members and for teachers and families.