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COPING WITH DISASTERS- MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES

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Hurricane/Flood resources

Coping with Gun Violence resources

 

Hurricane and Flood Resources

Beginning with the approach of Hurricane Harvey, your TPA Disaster Resource Network has been working hard to support our affected communities as well as our colleagues.  Hundreds of mental health professionals contacted us during the torrential rains to offer assistance as well as to wish us well.  Our role has been to aid in the response, support victims as well as fellow responders, and to coordinate and collaborate with other governmental and non-governmental organizations.  Many of us along the Gulf Coast continue to struggle with flood waters and wind damage.  As of today, thousands continue to seek refuge in Red Cross and partner shelters.  We know that recovery will be difficult and we look toward to contributing to those efforts that will support resilience.  More than 100 psychologists have signed up for the TPA Harvey Psychologist Finder Resource offering up to three counseling sessions at no charge for those affected by Harvey.  The Harvey Psychologist Finder has been linked with numerous community resources and we will continue to make sure that victims of Harvey as well as our fellow professionals are aware of this valuable resource.  We have also focused, and will continue to focus, on messages to inform individuals, families, and leaders on self-care as well as when and how to seek help.

The following links may be helpful in the days to follow both for providers as well as for our clients.  We are happy to provide the following resources:

General Resources


Resources for Children

Sources of information for parents, teachers, etc.

An app to help children:

Activities for children:

Available free at  www.MentorResearch.org

 

APA OFFERS RESOURCES FOR COPING WITH MASS SHOOTINGS, UNDERSTANDING GUN VIOLENCE

Includes advice on how to talk to kids, call for public health approach to gun problems

WASHINGTON -- Constant news reports about the shooting in Las Vegas can cause stress and anxiety for people, leaving them with questions about the causes of and solutions to gun violence. Resources on the American Psychological Association’s website can help people with both issues.

OneAPA resource offers tipsfor managing feelings of distress in the aftermath of a shooting. “You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. There may never be satisfactory answers to these questions,” it says. “Meanwhile, you may wonder how to go on living your daily life. You can strengthen your resilience – the ability to adapt well in the face of adversity – in the days and weeks ahead.”

Talking to children about the shooting isn’t easy but parents or teachers shouldn’t completely shield them from violence or tragedies. APAoffers a series of tipsto parents and other caregivers on how to guide the conversation in a proactive and supportive way. “The conversation may not seem easy, but taking a proactive stance, discussing difficult events in age-appropriate language can help a child feel safer and more secure,” according to theresource availablein the APA Help Center.

Parents should also watch for signs of stress, fear or anxiety.

For those who feel too overwhelmed to use the tips provided, APA suggests consulting apsychologistor other mental health professional.

“Turning to someone for guidance may help you strengthen your resilience and persevere through difficult times,” it says.

There is no single personality profile that can reliably predict who will use a gun in a violent act, according to a report issued by the APA in December 2013 entitledGun Violence: Prediction, Prevention, and Policy. There is, however, psychological research that has helped develop evidence-based programs that can prevent violence through primary and secondary interventions.

Written by a task force composed of psychologists and other researchers, the report synthesized the available science on the complex underpinnings of gun violence, from gender and culture to gun policies and prevention strategies.

“The skills and knowledge of psychologists are needed to develop and evaluate programs and settings in schools, workplaces, prisons, neighborhoods, clinics, and other relevant contexts that aim to change gendered expectations for males that emphasize self-sufficiency, toughness and violence, including gun violence,” according to the report.

Gun violence is estimated to cost hundreds of billions of dollars a year in medical, legal and other expenses, not to mention the psychological toll. That is why the government needs to approach it as a public health problem, according to APA acting Executive Director for Public Interest Clinton Anderson, PhD, writing in a blog post entitledNo Silver Bullet: Why We Need Research on Gun Violence Prevention.

“Some have argued that we need to focus on policies that prosecute criminals and prevent those individuals who have been found to be a danger to themselves or others from obtaining a firearm,” wrote Anderson. “While these policies have merit, they are clearly not fully effective, and do not address the roots of violence in our society.”

No one policy will prevent gun violence, writes Anderson. “It will take a multi-faceted approach. Funding research that explores these horrific, impulsive acts can help us all inform and adapt our policy approach.”

In anotherblog post, clinical psychologist Joel Dvoskin, PhD, warned against unfairly stigmatizing the mentally ill by immediately jumping to the conclusion that most shooters have a mental illness.

“Too often, even the most well-intentioned among us believe that most mass shootings are carried out by those with untreated mental illness,” he wrote. “What the perpetrators seem to have in common is the experience of extreme situational crisis.”

Additional resources:

Talking to Kids When They Need Help

7 Ways to Talk to Children and Youth about the Shootings in Orlando

Helping Children Manage Distress in the Aftermath of a Shooting

How Much News Coverage is OK for Children?

Gun Violence Prevention

APA Initiatives to Prevent Gun Violence

   
 
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