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BHSN has established this page to list resources, advice and other tools that behavioral health professionals and the public can use to better understand the effects of both natural disasters and those of terrorism or violence. We urge you to tap into these resources, pass along needed information, or use these tools as a vehicle for furthering the healing process.

Red Cross Tips for coping:

1. Talk about feelings.

2. Ask for help - strong feelings can last for weeks.

3. Listen to other people and be kind.

4. Spend time with family and return to the usual routine.

5. Recall other fearful times that did not last forever.

6. Do something that could help others.

General Resources:

The American Psychological Assocation is maintaining a page to help people understand and manage the traumatic stress caused by September 11th's attack click here

The University of Illinois Extension Disaster Resources has help for dealing with emotional response to natural disasters click here as well as a page of links of resources for educators click here

The U.S Department of Justice has an online report, Responding to Terrorism Victims: Oklahoma City and Beyond, that addresses lessons learned from the experience of the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, long-term victim needs including mental health support, the process of getting funding for resources and legal issues pertaining to victims of terrorism.

The National Institute of Mental Health also has a section of their Web site dealing with Post- Traumatic Stress Disorder: click here

Advice from the American Psychiatric Association:

*When disaster strikes, it is recommended that individuals should:

1. Keep in mind these incidents are highly visible and disturbing but they are isolated events in a country of close to 300 million people

2. Act on facts, not fear or speculation

3. Take control of what you can. Stay out of heavily populated public areas if at all possible

4. Keep informed about new information or developments

5. If you feel anxious, angry or depressed, you're not alone. Talk to friends, family or colleagues who may likely experience the same feelings.

*Many people survive disasters without developing significant psychological problems.

Quick Tips for Parents:

This is a quick resource for materials and information you may choose to read for yourself, your children, your family members or friends. Children are sensing the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, children experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that disasters can bring about. Unlike adults, however, children have little experience to help them place their current problems into perspective. It is particularly important to listen to children, accept their fears and talk with them.

1. Children need comforting and frequent reassurance that they're safe - make sure they get it.

2. Be honest and open about the disaster, but keep information age-appropriate.

3. Reassure them that state and federal government, the police, doctor and hospitals are doing everything possible to help the people hurt by this tragedy.

4. Encourage children to express their feelings through talking, drawing or playing.

5. Try to maintain your daily routines as much as possible.

6. Listen to your child's fears and concerns and encourage your child to talk to you and other family members about their fears and anxieties.

7. Let them know that in time, our country will recover from this disaster; and

8. If you are frightened, tell your child; don't minimize the danger, but also talk about your ability to cope with your own fear and anxieties and continue with your life.

Children's Resources:

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry has suggestions for "Helping Children After a Disaster." They can be found by clicking here

Parenting Press has compiled resources for media and parents to help us all talk to the children in our lives about national violence: click here.

Preparing for Disasters (American Academy of Pediatrics)

The National Institute of Mental Health has an online report, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters, which deals specifically with trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in children and adolescents.

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