Helping Your School Community Recover After Tragedies and Traumatic Events

People often look to their communities—and especially the leaders of those communities—to provide emotional support and reassurance in the aftermath of tragedies and traumatic events. Schools may find themselves serving as a hub for the community’s recovery efforts and as a center for pastoral care.

Whatever your school can do in terms of acknowledging the difficulty of the moment, expressing empathy and grief for the victims, reassuring children that they are safe, and helping everyone eventually to get back to normal routines is a critical role you have to play.

To help you assist students and other members of your community who need support, NAIS has compiled several resources below.

Helping Your Community

  • Often, schools reach out to experts to help them help community members. The National Center for School Crisis & Bereavement, based out of the University of Southern California, provides psychological support resources and planning to schools dealing with crises, free of charge. Schools can call or email them any time and they will help you identify what your community needs during and after a crisis.
  • Psychological First Aid for Schools (PFA-S) Field Operations Guide, a resource from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, helps school personnel meet the needs of students in the aftermath of a traumatic event.

Helping Children Cope with Tragedy

Responding to Tragedies of Violence

Media Consumption

Crisis Management Resources