Mental health support is a high priority after an emergency. Children and adults who have experienced stress or loss, either at the child care program or at home, may have difficulty coping. By offering a safe place and resources like mental health consultants, child care and Head Start programs can support children, families, and staff coping with fear, anger, and grief and help them resume their lives in a healthy way. Head Start and child care programs can use these tip sheets and resources with families and staff affected by a crisis or tragic event. Use these materials to learn more about common reactions and self-care after trauma.
Infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and young children who experience a tragic event may show changes in their behaviors. Learn more about the important role staff play in supporting infants, toddlers, and preschoolers after tragic events.
A crisis can mean heightened family tension and imbalance that requires quick staff identification. Learn a greater understanding of what brings about crises for families. Find ways to make a real difference in families' lives during a trying time.
Tips for Talking with and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers
Adult support and reassurance are key to helping children and youth through a traumatic time. Use this tip sheet to help parents, caregivers, and teachers learn common reactions, respond in a helpful way, and know when to seek support.
Children can better cope with a disaster when they feel they understand what is happening and what they can do. Learn effective strategies families can use to help their children cope during the recovery process.
Learn about Psychological First Aid, an evidence-informed approach to help children, adolescents, adults, and families after a disaster and terrorism. Find resources, including a field operations guide and handouts, to help survivors in the immediate aftermath.
Learn more about the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). It was created to raise the standard of care and increase access to services for children and families who experience or witness traumatic events. NCTSN provides clinical services, education, training, and resource materials to families, caregivers, providers, and policy makers.
Explore this resource list from NCTSN. Find information about a range of trauma topics that impact children.
Caring for Yourself During Recovery
Use this resource to learn about typical stress reactions. Find tips for self-care and the recovery process.
Mindfulness is doing everyday things, like observing, interacting, eating, walking, and thinking, but with more awareness. This awareness can help you deal with physical and emotional stress, anxiety, anger, and other big emotions more effectively. Learn ways to help children use mindfulness to name and calm big feelings.
Anyone working with children and families impacted by trauma are vulnerable to the effects of trauma or compassion fatigue. Learn more about preventing compassion fatigue and caring for yourself.
Disasters can take both an emotional and financial toll. Share this booklet with families recovering from a disaster to help them obtain a financial balance after a disaster has hit and begin to plan again for the future.
Topic: Mental Health
National Centers:Early Childhood Health and Wellness
Last Updated: April 23, 2020