Resources for Helping Youth and Children Cope with Disaster

May 23, 2013

Resources for parents, teachers, mental health professionals, and first responders, compiled by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network:

After the Tornado: Helping Young Children Heal (PDF)

En Español [Después de Pasar por La Experiencia de Un Tornado]

Parent Guidelines for Helping Children after a Tornado (PDF)

Questions To Ask Your Children About the Tornado (PDF)

Teacher Guidelines for Helping Students after a Tornado (PDF)

Tornado Response for Kids: Right after a Tornado (PDF)

Tornado Recovery for Kids: Making Things Better (PDF)

Tornado Response for Teens: Right after a Tornado (PDF)

Tornado Recovery for Teens: Making Things Better (PDF)

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage of the Tornadoes (PDF)

Simplified Children’s Activities when no power or when it is not safe to go outside (PDF)

Psychological First Aid for Schools

Traumatic Grief Fact Sheets for parents:   

For Parents (2004) (PDF) 
         En Español [Guía informativa para los padres sobre la aflicción traumática infantil (2004)]

For Mental Health Professionals:

Working with Firefighters and Other First Responders (9-hour e-learning course)

Using TF-CBT with childhood traumatic grief (6-hour e-learning course)

For Responders Who are Being Activated:

Psychological First Aid (PFA) Field Guide

PFA Online  (6-hour e-learning course)

PFA Mobile (mobile app downloadable on ITunes)

Secondary Traumatic Stress: A fact sheet for Child Serving Professionals

Resources for Children, Parents, and Educators from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

Children and YouthSAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series installment

This SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series installment focuses on the reactions and mental health needs of children and youth after a disaster and contains resources from both the child trauma and disaster behavioral health fields. The collection includes an annotated bibliography and a section with helpful links to organizations, agencies, and other resources that address disaster preparedness and response issues surrounding children and youth.

Annotated bibliography

Helpful links


Tips for talking with and helping children and youth cope after a disaster or traumatic event: A guide for parents, caregivers, and teachers

This tip sheet helps parents, caregivers, and teachers to recognize and address stress responses in children and youth affected by traumatic events such as automobile accidents and disasters. It describes stress reactions that are commonly seen in young trauma survivors from various age groups and offers tips on how to help as well as resources.


Cultural Awareness: Children and Youth in Disasters Podcast

The goal of this 60-minute podcast is to assist disaster behavioral health responders in providing culturally aware and appropriate disaster behavioral health services for children, youth, and families impacted by natural and human-caused disasters. Featured speakers include April Naturale, Ph.D., of SAMHSA DTAC and Russell T. Jones, Ph.D., of Virginia Tech University.

Podcast archive


Presentation Slides


Psychosocial issues for children and adolescents in disasters

This booklet includes resources for people working with children after a disaster. It covers child development theories in relation to how youth respond emotionally to disasters. It also features suggestions, case studies, and a resource guide.

Supplemental research bulletin: Children and disasters