In recent weeks, children and parents across the country have faced hurricanes and wildfires. Families in some cities have seen racially-motivated violence on their streets. Just this week, a school in Washington state was the site of another mass shooting. When a child is affected by events like these, what can we do to help? Knowing how to define trauma is an important first step. We define trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that may overwhelm a child’s ability to cope, and it’s important to note that there is a wide continuum of experiences that might qualify, from sexual abuse to natural disaster to food insecurity.
By understanding what trauma is, we can begin to understand trauma’s impact as well as how we can respond to trauma experienced by our community’s children. We’ve published a series of new tools and collected a few other excellent resources to support you in this work:
- Listen to our recent Parenting Today show with iHeartRadio and Voices for Virginia’s Children on Trauma, Toxic Stress and Children HERE.
- Read and share Fact Sheets (in English and Spanish) on Trauma Informed Care HERE.
- Explore Tips for Helping Youth Cope After Disasters or Traumatic Events from SAMHSA HERE.
- Read about Coping with Disasters and Traumatic Events from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention HERE.
For additional perspectives, explore SCAN’s other recent posts related to trauma: