Services for Teens At Risk

A Message from STAR-Center

The following handouts from the NCTSN may be especially useful:

Psychological Impact of the Recent Shooting

Talking to Children about the Shooting

Tip Sheet for Youth Talking to Journalists about the Shooting

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting

  • SAMHSA continues to sponsor a disaster crisis hotline - 1-800-985-5990 or text "talkwithus" to "66746". For more details on this, as well as numerous materials on trauma and grief, click here.

One excellent example of the resources offered by SAMHSA is the following handout:

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers and Teachers

10-Point School Safety Checklist

School Shooters: An Awareness Program for School Staff

  • Pennsylvania Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary statewide effort to enhance communication between stakeholders and to provide a clearinghouse of national and local resources highlighting current research, evidenced based prevention programs and county specific prevention, intervention and support services.
  • School Based Behavioral Health website at the University of Pittsburgh provides free handbooks, podcasts, narrated slide presentations, parent brochures and study guides for parents, teachers and other professionals on a variety of mental health disorders, and behavioral health issues.

As we care for others and ourselves, we might do well to keep the following in mind:

  • Maintain a flexible routine.
  • Limit our repetitive exposure to reminders of the event and assist in limiting the re-exposure of the youth in our lives.
  • Recognize that although stress reactions are "normal" they can often be problematic and painful. Seek support as needed.
  • There are no answers to some questions and it is ok to say, "I don't know but I care that you asked."
  • Thankfully such events are extremely rare.
  • Grieving and recovery are on-going, individual processes that often include conflict.
  • Promote mental health awareness and treatment whenever possible.
  • Model self-care.

As my veteran STAR colleague and clinical director, Kim Poling, has reminded me during many postventions, "sometimes the most powerful thing we can do is show up and be the calm amidst the chaos." May each of you be strengthened to continue doing the important work you do.

Take care,
Paula S. McCommons, Ed.D.
Director, STAR-Center Outreach