Resources for Coping in Wake of National Tragedy
While the University of Central Missouri remembers the students and families affected by the tragedy in Newtown, CT, Paul Polychronis, director of the UCM Counseling Center, is sharing information from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) that may be helpful to those trying to cope following the incident:
"When a tragic event happens, such as the mass shooting in Newtown, CT, in which the lives of so many innocent children were lost, the entire country grieves together. As a result, it is common that people will experience strong emotions and it may elicit memories of past loss and grief. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration would like to make sure that everyone is aware of the Disaster Distress Helpline; the Nation's first permanent hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (Text "TalkWithUs" to 66746 or for Spanish-speakers, Text "Hablanos" to 66746) for anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this tragedy. Callers are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services. The Helpline complements the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and other disaster response entities and is available immediately anywhere within the United States."
Lori Dake, environmental health and safety manager at UCM, has also provided the attached SAMSHA publication, "Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers."