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Talking to Children About the Tragedy in Texas

After learning about the school shooting in Texas, your patients and their families may be experiencing emotional distress.

Following any upsetting or traumatic event, parents and caregivers may struggle with how to best support and reassure their children while also managing their own emotions. While it is difficult to prevent children from experiencing these events indirectly through television and online media, limiting this exposure will be helpful for the mental health of children. Feelings of anxiety and sadness, or changes in sleep and appetite are some of the reactions that children may experience.

Listed below are a number of resources related to helping children and families discuss and cope with traumatic events. As always, BHIPP is here to support you in addressing these concerns, the warmline remains open from 9am-5pm Monday through Friday at 855-MD-BHIPP (632-4477).

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Talking to Children About the Shooting

Coping After Mass Violence

Age-related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After Mass Violence

Psychological First Aid for Schools

Child Mind Institute

Anxiety Over School Shootings

Going Back to School After a Tragedy

Sesame Street in Communities

Community & Gun Violence

Traumatic Experiences

National Public Radio (NPR)

How Gun Violence Affects American Children

What to Say to Kids When the News is Scary

Book for Young Children from Piplo Productions (free PDF version)

Once I Was Very Very Scared

National Association of School Psychologists

Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers


Helping Kids Navigate Scary News Stories

American Academy of Pediatrics, Healthy Children

Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 

Disaster and Trauma Resource Center

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BHIPP is supported by funding from the Maryland Department of Health, Behavioral Health Administration and operates as a collaboration between the University of Maryland School of Medicine, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Salisbury University and Morgan State University.

BHIPP and this newsletter are also supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $433,296 with approximately 20% financed by non-governmental sources. The contents of this newsletter are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government. For more information, visit www.hrsa.gov.

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