Friday, December 14, 2012

Children Coping with Violence

Another tragedy has hit our country, and children have been targeted in a place where they should feel safe. Though it may take days and weeks to learn the details of the tragedy in Connecticut today, we must act quickly to help the children and youth around us to make sense of this violence.

After the Aurora shooting this summer, Christine Harms, director of the Colorado School Safety Resource Center, wrote a great brief article offering advice on talking with youth about a tragedy. As parents, educators, or as members of any community, the best support we can provide is a listening ear, honesty, emphasis on the positive responses and heroism in the midst of the tragedy, and limited access to the most traumatic information and images. 

Our national mental health partners and experts have provided additional resources for responding to trauma. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a resource offering tips for speaking with children about trauma in age-appropriate ways. The American Psychological Association also highlighted ways to help children cope with this type of distress as well as ways to manage your own distress in response to a traumatic event. And the American Academy for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has a helpful list for talking with children about community violence

The hearts of CDPHE employees and all Coloradans go out to the Newtown community and the victims and their families.

1 comment:

  1. And there's the words of advice from Mr. Rogers: