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Coping with Tragedy

Helpful resources to assist schools in helping students to cope with tragic events.

To assist schools in helping students cope with violence, loss, and grief, the California Department of Education has provided some helpful resources that are applicable for coping with any tragedy. For more information, contact your school district's coordinator for crisis response or your county office of education. Counseling and student support specialists (school counselors, school psychologists, school social workers, and school nurses) and local mental health specialists can assist you in working with individual students and staff.

Coping with Violence, Loss, and Grief

A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools External link opens in new window or tab.
Information to help parents and teachers deal effectively with a child's reactions to a crisis situation. Note: Permission is granted for reproduction and dissemination of the following documents.

Bullying and Hate Motivated Behavior Prevention
Provides resources for parents, administrators, and students on how bullying can be prevented and addressed. Resources include publications, sample policies, and frequently asked questions.

Helping Kids Cope with the Current Fiscal Crisis External link opens in new window or tab.
A six-point survival guide for helping kids cope with the current economic situation.

Mental Health
Provides strategies, resources, and training in psychological and mental health issues, including coping with tragedy, crisis intervention and prevention, school psychology and suicide prevention.

National Association of School Psychologists External link opens in new window or tab.
Provides information to help parents, school personnel, mental health professionals, and others to assist children as they cope with the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the United States. Current topics addressed include coping with terrorism, promoting tolerance, recognizing severe trauma reaction, managing anger and other strong emotions, preventing suicide, creating school memorials, understanding children and war, and helping children with special needs cope. Some handouts are translated into other languages. The following helpful publications are available:

National Center for Crisis Management External link opens in new window or tab.
The National Center for Crisis Management is a multidisciplinary network of professionals who are committed to improving the support and intervention provided to victims before, during and in the aftermath of crisis situations.

Mental Health America External link opens in new window or tab.
Mental Health America, formerly the National Mental Health Association, has developed the Coping with Disaster Fact Sheet Series to help adults and children cope with stress.

Talking with Kids About News External link opens in new window or tab.
The Public Broadcasting System (PBS) provides strategies for discussing today's headlines, from war and violence to the latest storm and disaster. Resources include how to calm kid's fears, stimulate their minds, and encourage them to think about their place in the world.

Talking with Kids About Tough Issues External link opens in new window or tab.
Children Now provides practical tips and techniques to help teachers and parents talk easily and openly with young children ages eight to twelve about a wide range of issues that can be difficult for children to understand and difficult for adults to explain to them.

Coping with War and the Threat of Terrorism

Children and Fear of War and Terrorism - Tips for Parents and Teachers External link opens in new window or tab.
This resource emphasizes how children are likely to be affected during this difficult period in history and what parents and teachers can do to acknowledge children's feelings and help them feel safe.

Dealing with War and Terrorism in the Classroom External link opens in new window or tab.
Education World offers educators tips on how to address issues of war and terrorism with their students. This site offers strategies for discussing the threats of war and terrorism with different age groups.

How to Prepare Our Children and Stay Involved in Their Education During Deployment External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF)
Developed by the Military Child Education Coalition External link opens in new window or tab. , this booklet contains children's drawings and was designed to assist parents and educators in supporting children whose parents have been deployed.

Questions: Stephanie Papas | spapas@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8441 
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