Children and Youth Resource Collection

This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on the reactions and mental health needs of children and youth after a disaster. Topics covered include but are not limited to the following:

  • Ways that parents and other caregivers and health care professionals can help children cope with disasters
  • Planning and preparedness for child care providers, teachers, and schools
  • Issues in disasters for children with special needs

Use the menu bar at left to narrow the results by disaster type, behavioral health issue or condition, treatment topic, and more.

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A checklist for school personnel to evaluate and implement the mental health component of your school crisis and emergency plan - National Child Traumatic Stress Network
Educators and school personnel can use this guide to determine how well their school is prepared to respond to the immediate and long-term psychological effects of a crisis or disaster on students, their families, and staff. It offers many practical suggestions for developing procedures and plans for mitigation, prevention, preparation, response, and recovery.

After a loved one dies - how children grieve: And how parents and other adults can support them - New York Life Foundation
This 26-page booklet is for parents and other adults to help children who have suffered the loss of a parent or loved one to get through their grief. Click on View/Download to access the actual item. [Authors: Schonfeld, D. J., & Quackenbush, M.]

After the hurricane: Helping young children heal - National Child Traumatic Stress Network
This handout uses the acronym SAFETY to outline practical ways in which parents can help young children cope with the emotional impact of a hurricane.

After the storm: A guide to help children cope with the psychological effects of a hurricane - Dippity, Inc.
Multiple audiences can use this activity book, which contains information, activities, and strategies to help children cope with their reactions and feelings resulting from a hurricane and its aftermath. The material is designed for use with children ages 6-12, but much of the information and many of its activities can be adapted for use with older and younger children. [Authors: La Greca, A. M., Sevin, S. W., & Sevin, E. L.]

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry - American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)
AACAP is, according to its website, a "national professional medical association dedicated to treating and improving the quality of life for children, adolescents, and families" affected by mental, behavioral, or developmental disorders. At its website, AACAP provides several fact sheets on talking to children about disasters.

American School Counselor Association - American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
According to its website, ASCA "supports school counselors' efforts to help students focus on academic, personal/social, and career development so they achieve success in school and are prepared to lead fulfilling lives as responsible members of society. ASCA provides professional development, publications, and other resources, as well as research and advocacy, to more than 29,000 professional school counselors around the globe."

A practical guide for crisis response in our schools (5th ed.) - National Center for Crisis Management
This website provides information to assist schools in responding effectively to "everyday crises" as well as school-based disasters. The links provided offer strategies to potentially prevent violent school-based tragedies, assist educators in identifying students who may be at greatest risk of violent behavior, review protocols for managing crisis situations, and discuss practical strategies for addressing the emergent needs of students during times of crisis.

Autism and emergency preparedness: Tips and information for emergency shelter staff and trainers - Debbaudt Legacy Productions
This fact sheet provides tips and options on how to safely and effectively interact with individuals with autism, their family members, and care providers. Click on the link labeled "Disaster Preparedness (PDF)" to access the file. Included is a definition of autism, possible characteristics of those with autism, methods of communication, and tips for how best to handle autistic persons in shelters. [Author: Debbaudt, D.]

Autism emergency contact form - Debbaudt Legacy Productions
The contact form includes information that is necessary and helpful for first responders and health care professionals working with people with autism during emergencies. Click on the link in the right sidebar of the web page to access the form. It includes, among other things, places to provide the name of the person with autism; the person's method of communication, if the method is nonverbal; and current prescriptions.

Building community resilience for children and families - National Child Traumatic Stress Network
This is a guide for mental health and medical professionals to help communities build resilience and improve their capacities to respond effectively to disasters and acts of terrorism. It includes information, suggestions, and resources for businesses, cultural and faith-based groups and organizations, and first responders. It also contains related information on health care, media, mental health, public health, and school and personal child care settings. [Authors: Gurwitch, R. H., Pfefferbaum, B., Montgomery, J. M., Klomp, R. W., & Reissman, D. B.

Can Do and the storm: A story about new beginnings - Can Do Duck Publishing
This coloring book was written for children affected by hurricanes. It tells the story of Can Do the duck and his friends who have to leave their pond because of a hurricane. It is designed to help children to think about and share their feelings regarding frightening events they have experienced.

Caring for children in a disaster - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
This part of CDC's website describes how children differ from adults in how they experience disasters; suggests ways to prepare for natural disasters; and provides links to web pages with information specifically for health professionals and responders, parents, children, and schools and child care centers.

Caring for kids after trauma, disaster and death: A guide for parents and professionals (second ed.) - Child Study Center, Langone Medical Center, New York University
This guide is for use with children and adolescents following a traumatic experience. It is organized in sections to enable users to easily access the most relevant information. The sections examine a range of issues including children's reactions at different stages of development, as well as practical, hands-on advice to parents and school staff. Also included are specific strategies for when and how to get help for mental health problems; how to prepare for natural disasters; how to talk to children about terrorism, war, and media issues; and specific techniques to help families access community resources. [Authors: Gurian, A., Kambouk, D., Levine, E., Pearlman, M., & Wasser, R.]

Children, National Center for PTSD - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for PTSD
The National Center for PTSD aims to advance the clinical care and social welfare of U.S. veterans through research, education, and training on posttraumatic stress disorder and stress-related disorders. The Center also offers many children- and youth-related resources including fact sheets and assessment tools.

Children needing extra help: Guidelines for mental health providers - National Child Traumatic Stress Network
This document provides information regarding what should be considered when treating a child, such as the child's developmental level, anger management skills, etc.

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Last Updated: 10/27/2015