Helping Children After Tragic Events: Information for Teachers & Providers

Stay informed.

It’s important for you to understand the serious impact that tragic events can have on kids, and how to help them.

  • Know signs and symptoms of stress in children.
  • Know how to talk to children about what they are feeling and how to comfort kids of all ages during and after tragic events.
  • Know where to find materials to share with families.
  • Remember to check out professional organizations and academic institutions for materials to learn more and find best ways to help families.


Your reaction to a tragic event affects your ability to help the children in your care. Adults should also get help when they are feeling overwhelmed.

Find resources and programs that can help you by visiting these links:

You can also call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline, which provides 24/7, 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.

Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from a network of crisis centers across the country. Helpline staff provide supportive counseling, including information on common stress reactions and healthy coping, as well as referrals to local disaster-related resources for follow-up care and support.

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs or Hablanos to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

The Disaster Distress Helpline’s number 1-800-846-8517 is available to all hard of hearing and deaf people.


Children of color are particularly vulnerable and need support and attention when they’re a witness to violence and trauma—especially when it's happening to people who look like them. Read more about how to Help Children of Color Heal from Collective Trauma.

For Teachers

For Healthcare Providers

  • ProjectTeachNY: Primary care providers can call Project TEACH for easy access to consultations with a child-and-adolescent psychiatrist, to receive the training they need to make the best decisions for children with mental health needs, and for help with linkage and referrals to intervention, treatment, and support services for children and families.
  • Children & Disasters: Gives information for providers on how to meet their patients’ needs during tragic events.
  • Caring for Children in a Disaster: Resources for Health Professionals: Gives links for resources on how to care for children during and after tragic events.
  • Sesame Street in Communities, Traumatic Experiences: Gives information for providers on how to help children after a traumatic experience. The site includes videos and activities for children from the ages of 0-6, and links to advice for adults on offering comfort, exploring emotions, and more.
  • Select Disaster Behavioral Health Resources: Leads to a clearinghouse of resources and further links for healthcare providers.