Talking to & Supporting Young People After Violence

Recent months have brought several heartbreaking national tragedies that continue to impact the well-being of the young people, families, and communities we serve--and the providers who support them.

In Memphis, body cam footage revealed the police slaying of Tyre Nichols, a young father, photographer, and Black man. In Monterey Park, 11 people were shot during Lunar New Year festivities. They were grandparents, family members, dancers, and Asian Americans. In Half Moon Bay, seven people who were farmworkers emigrated from China or Mexico were shot. In Colorado Springs, five people were killed and 19 more were injured by gun violence in the attack on Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub.

We know that, for many people, the events of the last few weeks have been traumatizing and have reactivated past traumas. We have seen the ways that racism, hate, and bigotry continue to bias how the media and our systems (judicial, education, etc.) respond to police violence and community violence.

We recognize that the events in Memphis, Monterey Park, Half Moon Bay, and Colorado Springs are not the same--but they can provoke similar questions for caregivers, educators, and other people working in youth-serving systems. How do we explain these events to children and teens in age-appropriate ways? How do we both protect and empower young people?


This newsletter includes several resources and events to support you in your work with young people and families. We welcome you to contact NTTAC if you would like to discuss additional training, consultation, or resource needs.


Wishing you care, healing, and empowerment in the work, 

The NTTAC Team

For Caregivers & Youth-Serving Providers compiled Resources to Support Children’s Emotional Well-Being Amid Anti-Black Racism, Racial Violence, and Trauma for caregivers of children of all races. It includes specific guidance and resources on supporting, reassuring, and educating children about racism, safety, and law enforcement.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has several short tip sheets for caregivers on how to talk to young people about frightening events they may experience in their communities or through the media:

Talking to Teens When Violence Happens (Spanish/Español)

Talking to Children When Scary Things Happen (Spanish/Español) 

How to Talk to Kids About Tyre Nichols and Racist Systems offers strategies and conversation starters for talking about racism with youth from a systemic lens, instead of focusing on "good cops vs. bad cops."

The National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement created brief, FAQ-style guidelines on Talking to children about terrorist attacks and school and community shootings in the news.

In Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Resources on Discrimination, Anti-Asian Racism, and Trauma, the National Network to Eliminate Disparities in Behavioral Health (NNED) offers resources for talking to children about anti-Asian bias, in addition to resources on self-care and mental health.

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry created a Resource Library on Guns and Violence that includes links to tip sheets for working with youth and families, clinical resources, position statements, policy guidance, and more for mental health providers.

For Educators & School Leaders

Learning for Justice continually updates an excellent collection of resources for educators and school leaders on Discussing Race, Racism and Police Violence. It includes links to learning and professional development resources as well as articles about policy and system change.

The National Association of School Psychologists wrote a tip sheet on Supporting Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Students and Families: Tips for Educators in K–12 Settings that focuses on pandemic-era anti-Asian hate, but offers useful strategies that continue to be relevant.

The School Crisis Recovery & Renewal Project ( offers training modules, resources, and ongoing events to support students, educators, school staff, and school leaders to implement trauma-informed strategies in the long-term recovery after crisis.

Featured resources and events:

The Center for Racial Justice in Education continually updates Resources for Talking about Race, Racism and Racialized Violence with Kids, which includes links to articles, resource lists, and teaching strategies.

The National Education Association has a resource page Responding to Gun Violence that includes links to their policy statement; specific, national gun violence policies; and resources for helping students cope, disrupting hate and bias, and leading school site policy and practice.

Lesson Plans

Lesson plans and teacher resources from Share My Lesson, a project of the American Federation of Teachers: Supporting Safe Schools: Lesson Plans and Resources for Gun Violence Prevention

Lesson plans and teacher resources from Educators 4 Social Change: Teaching About Police Brutality

Series of mini-lessons from Facing History and Ourselves to help students in grades 6-12 think critically about the history between law enforcement and Black Americans: Policing and the Legacy of Racial Injustice

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This announcement is supported by SAMHSA of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award over five years (2020-2025) with 100 percent funded by SAMHSA/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by SAMHSA/HHS, or the U.S. Government.