Resources for Coping With Tragedy

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As we all try to handle our emotions and reactions in the wake of a tragedy, it’s important to keep in mind that feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry are normal. While it may not always feel like it, we can cope and we can control our responses.

We’ve gathered the following resources to help you and those in your care handle your response to tragedy. Please feel free to share comments or links to additional materials that you think might be helpful.

Disaster Distress Helpline
Sponsored by SAMHSA, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Disaster Distress Helpline offers counseling to anyone who needs help coping with tragedy. The helpline can be accessed online or by toll-free phone at 800.985.5990.

Disaster Response Template Toolkit
SAMHSA’s toolkit features materials for creating resources for people affected by disaster. The kit includes print, web, audio, video, and multimedia materials that disaster behavioral health response programs can use to provide outreach, education, and recovery news for disaster survivors.

Maintaining Perspective Following Tragedy
Written in response to the tragic events that took place in Aurora, CO in 2012, this blog post shares strategies for maintaining perspective in the face of tragedy.

A Manager's Guide to Handling Painful Anniversaries in the Workplace
Written in preparation for the first anniversary of September 11, this article outlines productive tips for proactively dealing with the anniversaries of tragic events.

Psychological First Aid for Schools
The Psychological First Aid for Schools Field Operations Guide, presented by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the National Center for PTSD, offers guidance for assisting kids, adults, and families in the aftermath of crisis.

Recovering Emotionally
The American Red Cross offers assistance on recovering emotionally after catastrophic events. Information about taking care of your emotional health is available in many languages. Resources for helping children cope with disaster are also available.

Resources for K-12 Schools offers a list of videos and articles on emergency preparedness in schools.
Safe Havens International
Safe Havens International Executive Director Michael Dorn and other school security experts offer emergency preparedness resources such as articles, videos, and campus crisis plan evaluation checklists.
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“I believe that more often than many people think is possible, we can prevent problems from getting out of control. We can make each other safer.”

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