Mental Health and Emotional Needs

Icon of two bandaids making a plus signMental health support is a high priority after an emergency. Children and adults who have experienced stress and/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 support children, families, and staff coping with fear, anger, and grief and help them resume their lives in a healthy way.

Coping with Disaster, Emergencies and Tragedies:

Keep in mind the following:

  • Everyone who sees or experiences an emergency is affected by it in some way.
  • It is normal to feel anxious about your own safety and that of your family and close friends.
  • Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions during or after an emergency.
  • Everyone has different needs and different ways of coping.
  • Acknowledging feelings and focusing on your strengths and abilities can help recovery.
  • Difficult memories of the disaster can be triggered by certain loud noises, weather events, or news clips from the emergency. This may be true even years later.
  • Often, anniversaries of the emergency can trigger difficult memories for children, staff, and families. Be sure to keep this in mind even years after the event occurs.