Resources after a shooting: How to help adolescents, talk to media, navigate trauma

In response to the fatal shooting at Oxford High School last year, parents across Metro Detroit were grappling with how to talk to their children about the gun violence. Today, the Michigan State University (MSU) community, and families across the state, will be doing the same. 

We aren't alone in navigating these conversations, sadly, but there are resources to help. We've compiled a list of guides, many from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, that can assist with navigating tough conversations at this time:

Talking to Children about the Shooting
Provides information on how to talk to children about mass shootings, how to start the conversation, common reactions children may have, and how to seek help if needed.

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting
Offers parents guidance on helping their children after a shooting. This fact sheet describes common reactions children may have, how parents can help them, and self-care tips after an event.

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event
Describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help and support them.

PFA: Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents
A handout from Psychological First Aid Field Operations Guide (PFA). This handout provides parents with common reactions after a disaster, ways to respond to those reactions, and examples of things you can say to your adolescent.

Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists after Mass Violence
Provides guidance to youth, parents, caregivers, and others who work with youth about talking to the media after a mass violence event. This fact sheet details the rights of a child or adolescent when speaking with the media, as well as the signs of a good reporter.

Dealing with the Aftermath of Tragedy in the Classroom
A guide from the Borough of Manhattan Community College.