There is no easy way to talk to your child about the nightmarish events and threatening stories they see and hear about every day—from acts of terrorism and war to natural disasters and community violence. Yet it’s one of the most important things we can do as caring adults.
Sue Heguy, a Clinical Supervisor at CarePlus and the Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) Coordinator of Bergen County, has provided some helpful resources for those looking to find a level of calm during highly stressful, violent events such as that which has unfolded in Boston this week. This information is particularly important for parents, teachers, and professionals who are helping children cope with stress and anxiety that may result during traumatic events.
- The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) provides a comprehensive list of responses for a variety of violent scenarios such as terrorism, for parents and professionals.
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event for parents, caregivers and teachers – from Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) – is available in PDF format and offers additional help links.
- National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) offers a comprehensive guide for parents and teachers with ways to help children cope with traumatic events and violent acts.
- University Behavioral Healthcare and the Traumatic Loss Coalition (TLC) provides Talking Points: Helping Youth Following Mass Violence; strategies for dealing with tragedies and assisting youth in regaining their sense of safety and security.
It’s times like these when anxiety and depression can consume any of us. Learning to talk about such feelings is an important part of coping and stress management, and provides a pathway to recovery. CarePlus has trained staff available to assist you in times of crisis: whether you, or a family member, have feelings of depression, stress, anxiety, or more chronic, severe symptoms of mental illness. Our services are available for all ages and at convenient locations throughout northern New Jersey. To schedule an appointment, please call 201-986-5000.
CarePlus also has certified Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) and Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) trainers on staff to provide educational programs that will help your staff or community group learn to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. For more information on MHFA/YMHFA programs, call Sue Heguy at 201-797-2660 ext. 129.