Support in the Aftermath of an Unimaginable Tragedy

A horrible tragedy occurred today in a Newtown, Connecticut elementary school. Our hearts are with the families, students, and school staff. We as a nation feel the impact of this loss. Please remember to take care of yourself and each other as those directly impacted in Newton, CT deal with this tragedy as a community and as we as a nation attempt to process this unimaginable event.

Here are some helpful resources when talking to and providing support to children:


National Alliance for Grieving Children: 

 "About Childhood Grief" 10 Things Grieving Children Want You to Know10 Ways to Help Grieving Children

Resource Page: When a Death Occurs in a Community: Helping Children and Teens

NAGC's Listing of Where to Get Help for a Grieving Child:


On Trauma:

Disaster and Trauma Responses of Children (PDF)  from the American Counseling Association

SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Coping with Violence and Traumatic Events  A variety of tip sheets/PDFs (Tips for Talking with Children are provided in Spanish, Chinese and Japanese)

TLC (Trauma and Loss in Children), Information about Helping Children and Teenagers dealing with Trauma

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, Information for Schools and Communities Facing a Crisis

The National Child Trauma Stress Network


Websites On Childhood Grief:

The Dougy Center, Information about Helping Children and Teenagers dealing with Grief

A Child in Grief, New York Life Foundation Children's Bereavement Resources

Hello Grief Website, Online Community of Support

National Bereavement Guide: A National Listing of Where to Get Help


Articles on Helping Children after a Tragedy:

Supporting Children After Sandy Hook by NAGC Vice President Joseph Primo

Talking With Children/Students About the Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting (PDF) from the Crisis Management Institute

Talking with Children About Difficult Subjects: Illness, Death, Violence and Disaster from the NYU Child Study Center

NAGC Member The Center for Grieving Children, Maine "How to Support a Child During a Crisis"

From American Psychological Association "Helping your children manage distress in the aftermath of a shooting"


Articles for Schools Helping Children after a Tragedy:
The American Hospice Foundation website has an article Responding to a School Crisis

For a more in-depth checklist for schools, the Maryland School Psychologists' Association ( has an extensive Crisis Team Resource Guide including checklists tailored to a school setting and to the different roles within a school.  

National Education Association (NEA) Health Information Network School Crisis Guide (PDF) 52pages



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