Resources for Dealing with Traumatic Events
General Resources
SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
1-800-985-5990
Free and confidential helpline that connects caller to the nearest crisis center for information, counseling, and support.
Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events
A webpage from SAMHSA featuring tips for parents, teachers, caregivers and students as well as resources for coping with grief.
Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioral Health Services
SAMHSA Treatment Improvement Protocol that discusses patient assessment, treatment planning strategies, and building a trauma-informed care workforce.
     
Community Provider Toolkit
From the VA, a start in the evaluation of individuals at risk for violence. Topics include suicide prevention and risk assessment, safety planning, and materials for clients.
Coping with Traumatic Events
From NIMH, podcasts, resources, and reports on coping with traumatic events.
Tips for Talking to Children and Youth After Traumatic Events
A guide for parents and educators from SAMHSA. (pdf)
     
Mental Health and Mass Violence: Evidence-Based Early Psychological Intervention for Victims/Survivors of Mass Violence
Summary from a summit addressing the need to evaluate various psychological interventions that are among the first responses to traumatic events. (pdf)
Parents: Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters
From NIMH, a brochure with good advice for parents about how to talk to their kids about a terrible event. (pdf)
Coping with a Traumatic Event
CDC factsheet which provides information on responses to traumatic events, PTSD, and coping strategies for adults and children. (pdf)
     
Tips for Helping Students Recovering From Traumatic Events
Department of Education brochure with tips on helping students recover from traumatic events. For students, parents, school staff, and others. (pdf)
Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting
Tips from the American Psychological Association for parents to help children manage distress after school shootings.
Mental Health First Aid
From the National Council, a public education live training course that introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact, and overviews common treatments.
     
Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide
Psychological First Aid is an evidence-informed approach for assisting children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disaster and terrorism from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.
Coping with Disaster During the Holidays
SAMHSA & Red Cross factsheet covering typical reactions, recommended actions, and how to seek help. (pdf)
A Mental Health Nurse’s Perspective on Newtown and Its Aftermath
Blog by Donna Sabella, MEd, MSN, PhD, RN, mental health nurse and AJN contributing editor with tips for acknowledging and processing grief.
     
Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC)
Supports SAMHSA efforts to prepare local entities to deliver effective mental health and substance abuse responses to disasters.
   
   
     
From the National Association of School Psychologists:
School Violence Prevention and Response
Listing of resources from NASP on providing support, response and recovery, violence prevention, and NASP school safety and crisis expertise.
A National Tragedy: Helping Children Cope
Tips for parents, teachers, and schools when helping children cope after a national tragedy occurs.
Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
Tips for parents and school personnel to help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears. (pdf)
     
Death: Dealing with Crisis at School Practical Suggestions for Educators
Information for preparing in advance for a possible crisis, notifying parents, and suggested roles for various school personnel.
Managing Strong Emotional Reactions to Traumatic Events:
Tips for Parents and Teachers

Tips on how to help children deal with their anger and warning signs of emotional trauma.
Coping with Crisis—Helping Children With Special Needs
Information for when working with children with special needs who are coping with crisis. Includes triggers and tips for various special populations.
     
From The KySS Guide to Child and Adolescent Mental Health Screening, Early Intervention and Health Promotion:
Information for Parents on How to Help Your Child/Teen Cope with Stressful Events or Uncertainty
Signs of anxiety/stress and developmentally appropriate explanations.
How Can I Help my Child Deal with Loss and Grief?
A listing of various activities to assist a child in adjusting to loss.
How Parents can Help Children/Teens to Cope With Loss and Grief
The effect of age on children who are grieving and how to help them deal with their grief.
 
Online Continuing Education
APNA eLearning Center
The following presentations are from past APNA Conferences in webinar and podcast form. APNA members can use their bonus points to access this continuing nursing education content at little to no cost.
   
   
 
Disaster Mental Health Volunteers
Becoming a Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Volunteer
Information for those interested in becoming disaster mental health volunteers for the Red Cross. (pdf)
Post-Deployment Excerpt
Excerpt from the  2012 American Red Cross Disaster Mental Health Handbook on post-deployment support for DMH volunteers. (pdf)
Post-Deployment Stress Self-Assessment
Tool that can help workers evaluate how they are coping during the days, weeks or months following disaster assignment. (pdf)
     
Natural Disasters
Managing Traumatic Stress: After a Tornado
Article from the American Psychological Association for persons affected directly or indirectly by tornadoes.
Tornadoes, Hurricanes, and Children
Tips parents and others who care for children to help alleviate the emotional consequences of trauma caused by tornadoes or hurricanes.
FEMA: Natural Disasters
Resources for before, during, and after the various types of natural disasters.
     

 


APNA Press Release
The American Psychiatric Nurses Association Calls for Increased Access to Mental Health Care to Prevent Tragic Loss of Life: In the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, the American Psychiatric Nurses Association (APNA) calls for swift action to address factors that will increase access to mental health services and help prevent more senseless acts of violence. (December 2012)
Call to Action from Nation's Nurses
APNA and more than 30 other nursing organizations signed on to a call to action in the wake of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn. It was sent to President Obama, congressional leaders, and leaders of both the National Governors Association and The United States Conference of Mayors. (pdf)
How to Help
We need your help in expanding this resource page - send us information, links, and resources that can help survivors, victims' families, and providers in dealing with the issues that arise after experiencing traumatic events such as the one that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary. Click on the button to email us or post your comments and suggestions below.

 

Opinions posted below are solely those of the poster. These comments are not monitored by APNA and APNA is not responsible for their content.

 
Comments (9)
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Deb Cody
Posted Dec 27, 2012 at 10:05 AM

I have been a psychiatric nurse since 1970 and have seen the changes in mental health care after 1973, when the communities "took responsibility" for care, and most institutions were eliminated. I believe that there must be a place for the shelter and care of people who cannot live a reasonably safe,secure life on their own or who are aggessive, due to mental illness. Families have to keep these people at home when they have no other resources. States should develop long term care for people with chronic mental illness who are at risk of violence or of being harmed themselves and for those mentally ill who have no resources for care. A large institution is preferable to no treatment, homelessness, and lack of monitoring for decompensation.

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A.Ngok
Posted Dec 24, 2012 at 09:55 PM

The mentally ill are somehow written off by this society. Many of my patients can still function in jobs or trades. The government can build training institutes just as protected as the hospital settings with security personel on site, where these young mentally ill patients could be exposed to productive life/skills, and not just to swallow pills. Many patients want to go back to their jobs but are denied such opportunity. Government can employ them in areas where they would not pose a risk to self and/or others. Government could also build high schools and colleges only for the mentally ill so that safety measures could easily be enforced. An idle mind is the devils workshop. The more they are engaged, the less opportunity to think/carry out violence; and the more productive they will be to self, family, and scoiety at large.

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Tammy Hostetler
Posted Dec 24, 2012 at 10:41 AM

I am an assistant professor teaching Psychiatric nursing to our next generation of caregivers. I have said for years that we would all pay a price for the decrease in care of our mentally ill population who I believe have had the nations back turned against them. Lack of money and support and the continued stigma that increases with every negative, traumatic event that occurs. When will we all realize that we need to do more. There is such disparity for our mentally ill and the families that care for them. How many more must die before serious action to improve our care of the mentally ill will become a priority?

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mary Schroeder
Posted Dec 22, 2012 at 05:38 PM

well done.

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Elizabeth
Posted Dec 20, 2012 at 07:54 PM

I am a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and have worked in this field for 20 plus years. Over the years there has been decreased funding for case-management services for the mentally ill. Case-management is the most important service we can provide. Trained caring professionals who go into the home and community with patients work with families and see each person in their environment. We must increase funding for this most important aspect of care.

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Mary Kastner
Posted Dec 20, 2012 at 02:45 PM

I am so proud to be a member of APNA and so confident in the leadership of our organization. Such a timely well thought out and written public media release warms my soul. I have said from the time of these events in our society that is it not just gun control but three more things: Education of the public so that parents of special needs children are not judged and marginalized as are their children; Education of the parent to prevent the denial, self blame and isolation; and Access to mental health services for the special needs children and often adult children which means not just "getting into care" but timely and appropriate continuous treatment.

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Theodora Sirota
Posted Dec 20, 2012 at 02:04 PM

I fully endorse the sensitive and comprehensive statement issued by APNA in response to the Newtown tragedy. Additionally, I would suggest that our leadership draft a letter to the President and Vice President offering APNA representation on the task force that is being created to address the issues and recommend immediate appropriate responses. It is critical that psychiatric nursing be included to lend our expertise and counsel to these deliberations.

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Douglas Olsen
Posted Dec 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I appreciate the need that APNA is trying to meet with this press release and the humanity expressed in each item of the release, especially the reminder that the “perception that mental illness commonly leads to violence” needs to be vigorously combated. However, I am concerned about how the widespread linking of mass murder incidents and the need for better psychiatric care will be construed in the public consciousness. Be careful what you wish for. Programs funded out of fear with the goal of reducing mass murder are likely to be different than those designed with concern for human suffering. Mental health care desperately needs more funding. To provide care we know works more resources are needed. Better treatment might reduce mass murder incidents but it might not. Diagnostically these individuals appear to be quite different; the only real commonality being the use high efficiency weapons. Better treatment may reduce violence overall, but the data would suggest that the most reduction will come from making persons with mental disorders less vulnerable to victimization. Let’s lobby for better treatment by showing the public that persons with mental disorders are suffering and can be helped and not by a perception however mistaken that we are exploiting public fear. It’s harder but in the end may lead to a more humane system. Doug Olsen

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debbie bykowski
Posted Dec 20, 2012 at 11:42 AM

I am the newly elected president of the Indiana Chapter of APNA. One thing that I would see is to increase access to parents of adult children with mental illness who watch their childrens conditions become worse and cannot do much since civil rights protect the adult child too much and treatment may not be initiated in time to prevent suicide, crimes, or other harmful acts. Any advice on how to start with this initiative would be sincerely appreciated. Warm regards, Debbie Bykowski, APRN

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