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Resilience Tools

The path to recovery is different for every victim of a mass violence incident. Self-help resources may be useful as a way to begin your own healing process or to provide help to a child or someone close to you. These resources are not a substitute for treatment from a health care professional, but they may help you learn important skills and coping strategies.

People may have a variety of reactions after a mass violence incident. These reactions may be experienced by:

  • Victims who were directly affected by the incident
  • Family, friends and others who are closely associated with a victim
  • People who witnessed or heard details about the incident

The following tip sheets can help you understand common trauma reactions that people may have after a mass violence incident.

NCTSN - NATIONAL CHILD TRAUMATIC STRESS NETWORK

For Teens: Coping After Mass Violence

Provides information for teens regarding common reactions to mass violence, and tips for self-care and connecting with other victims.

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NCTSN - NATIONAL CHILD TRAUMATIC STRESS NETWORK

College Students: Coping after the Recent Shooting

Offers information for college students on how to cope after involvement in a shooting. This fact sheet provides information on common trauma reactions, and what they can do for themselves.

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SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress

Describes possible emotional, physical and behavioral reactions to a disaster or traumatic event to help survivors identify early warning signs of stress, and provides practical tips for relieving this stress.

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SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Tips for Survivors: Coping with Grief after a Traumatic Event

Provides information about grief, the grieving process and complicated or traumatic grief. It also offers practical coping tips for those who are personally experiencing grief following involvement in a traumatic event.

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SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Traumatic Event: What to Expect in Your Personal, Family, Work and Financial Life

Helps survivors of disasters or traumatic events better understand what to expect in their personal, family, work and financial lives in the days and weeks after the incident. Provides tips for coping with and managing these changes, and details signs that may show that a survivor needs more help managing their stress.

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The following tip sheets describe strategies that may help someone cope after a mass violence incident. Everyone is different. What works for some may not work for others.

Professional treatment may be helpful to you if you have had troubling thoughts and feelings that create significant problems in different areas of your life, and these have affected you for more than a few days or weeks.

Red Cross

Taking Care of your Emotional Health After a Disaster

Describes the feelings and emotions that a survivor may be experiencing after a disaster, and provides tips for taking action to overcome these. This tip sheet also suggests steps to follow if you or your loved one needs additional help to improve their emotional health.

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The National Sleep Foundation

Trauma and Sleep

Describes common sleep problems following trauma and provides trauma-informed sleep tips for survivors.

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Mass violence incidents can be especially difficult for children and teenagers. Parents and caregivers can play an important role in the recovery process. These resources can help parents and caregivers understand common behaviors and reactions their child may have and how to help them cope.

NCSCB – NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOOL CRISIS AND BEREAVEMENT

Talking to Kids about Tragedies (Such as Shootings and Terror Attacks) in the News

This guide offers insight and suggestions for how to handle talking to children in relation to tragic events, such as shootings and terrorist attacks, that they are likely to hear about at school and/or on the news.

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NCSCB – NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOOL CRISIS AND BEREAVEMENT

After a Loved One Dies – Parent Booklet

This guide reviews how children grieve and how parents and other caring adults can help them better understand and adjust to a death. The information this guide provides can help parents and adults who are part of the lives of children who have experienced a loss know what to expect and how to help.

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NCSCB – NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOOL CRISIS AND BEREAVEMENT

Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff

These guidelines are designed to help school administrators, teachers, and crisis team members respond to the needs of students and staff after a loss has impacted the school environment, such as after the death of a student or staff member or when deaths occur that affect many people in the community.

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NCSCB – NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOOL CRISIS AND BEREAVEMENT

Guidelines for Educators for Supporting Grieving Students Over the Holidays

Teachers and school staff are uniquely poised to observe grief responses over time and can take steps to anticipate challenges. The support and understanding that educators offer grieving students over the holidays can be especially helpful.

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NCSCB – NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCHOOL CRISIS AND BEREAVEMENT

Teacher Training Module: Supporting Grieving Students in Schools

Free professional development presentations, complete with speaker notes, that provide information for teachers and school staff on how to support grieving students.

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NCTSN – NATIONAL CHILD TRAUMATIC STRESS NETWORK

Self-Care Strategies for Teachers and Providers

Provides self-care strategies for teachers or providers who are helping students cope after a traumatic event.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers

Helps parents and caregivers recognize traumatic grief responses in young children and provides tips for helping the child cope with their loss.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage: Shooting

Offers information about media coverage following a shooting and details what parents and caregivers can do to protect their children. This tip sheet also provides recommendations for families that have become part of the media’s story.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers

Helps parents and caregivers recognize traumatic grief responses in school-age children and provides tips for helping the child cope with their loss.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting

Describes common reactions experienced by children and teens following involvement in a mass shooting, and suggests things that parents and caregivers can do for their child to help them cope. Self-help tips for parents and caregivers are also provided.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting

Describes the psychological impact that a shooting has on children and families. Outlines common reactions to shootings such as posttraumatic stress reactions, grief reactions, depression, physical symptoms, trauma and loss reminders, traumatic grief, post-disaster adversities, and coping after catastrophic violence.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers

Helps parents and caregivers recognize traumatic grief responses in teens and provides tips for helping the teen cope with their loss.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Talking to Children about Mass Violence

Offers guidance and helpful tips on how to talk to children about mass violence and when to seek extra help.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Talking to Children about the Shooting

Offers guidance and helpful tips on how to talk to children about a shooting and when to seek extra help.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists about the Shooting

Provides tips for youth, parents, and caregivers on how to interact with journalists after a mass violence event or shooting. Helps parents and children identify a good reporter and better understand their rights when conducting an interview.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal

Provides information on how to help young children heal after a traumatic event.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After Mass Violence Attack

Describes common reactions experienced by children and teens following involvement in a mass violence incident, and suggests things that parents and caregivers can do for their child to help them cope. Self-help tips for parents and caregivers are also provided.

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Children’s Bureau

Parenting a Child Who Has Experienced Trauma

Provides information on types of trauma and the effects of trauma on children and youth. Tips for helping a child who has experienced trauma are also provided.

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Child Mind Institute

Helping Children Cope After a Traumatic Event

Offers information on helping children cope after a traumatic event including what to expect, how to help and what to look out for.

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NMVVRC - National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center

Suggestions for Parents - Mass Violence Incidents

Provides suggestions for parents whose child has been exposed to the news of a mass violence incident.

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NASP - National Association of School Psychologists

Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers

Offers tips for talking with children about violence, including specific points to emphasize in conversations following the violent event.

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SAMHSA - Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers and Teachers

Helps parents and caregivers recognize common reactions of children after experiencing a disaster or traumatic event.

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NCTSN – National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Talking to Children about Hate Crimes and Anti-Semitism

Provides tips on talking to children about anti-Semitism including how to start the conversation, how to gently correct inaccurate information, understanding common reactions children may have after mass violence, how to answer questions directly, how to be a positive role model, and empowering children and teens.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Helping Youth After Community Trauma: Tips for Educators

Lists common reactions educators might see in the students with whom they work and suggestions on how they may help after community trauma. This tip sheet describes how traumatic events, such as a natural disaster, school violence, or the traumatic death of a peer or educator, can affect students’ learning, behavior, and relationships.

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NCTSN - National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Guiding Adults in Talking to Children About Death and Attending Services

Provides ways to navigate questions about death, funerals, and memorials for children. This fact sheet discusses this challenging, but manageable, task and includes sample questions and answers to help guide discussions.

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Self-help applications are not a substitute for face-to-face treatment from a mental health professional, but those affected by mass violence incidents may find that “apps” help with recovery process.

The National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center is developing a mobile self-help application for victims of mass violence, expected to release in Fall 2019.

Mobile self-help apps that we recommend:

*The following applications were not created by the National Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center. Technical support for these programs therefore cannot be provided by NMVVRC faculty or staff. Please seek assistance from a medical professional if symptoms persist or worsen.

PTSD Coach

The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage your trauma-related symptoms, such as nightmares, intrusive thoughts or images about the trauma, and high levels of anxiety or arousal. This app provides tips and coping strategies, as well as tools for tracking your symptoms.

Download it for free here:

e-Couch

This free, web-based application provides self-help lessons for depression, general anxiety and social anxiety, as well as for divorce/separation and loss/bereavement.

Access eCouch here:

https://ecouch.anu.edu.au/welcome

Mindfulness Coach

Mindfulness may help to reduce stress and improve coping after a mass violence incident. Mindfulness Coach provides activities to practice on your own or with guidance.

Download it for free here:

Rapid Intervention Team Tools for Suicide Prevention

Created originally for firefighters, this freely available resource can be used by all first responders, helping them recognize and respond appropriately to suicide risk in themselves and in peers. This web resource is designed as a rapid intervention tool and provides tips, a checkup, and access to support. Designed for mobile use.

Access RIT Tools here:

http://rit.pocketpeer.org

Mother Emanuel Self-Help

A free app to promote emotional recovery for the surviving family members, surviving witnesses, and other members of the Emanuel AME congregation. This app includes several resources that are based on best practices in the areas of grief, mood, and stress.

Download it for free here: