Helping Students Cope with Natural Disaster

I appended some coping resources for teachers with affected students and families to an earlier blog on the multiple disasters in Japan. In addition, here are some more resources that might prove useful in helping students and their families cope with events.

Hands-on Approaches to Helping Children Heal from Traumatic Events (158 pages) provides activities in play, art, writing, music, drama, movement for K-12 students. A sample page suggests puppetry for younger children.  I didn’t find the book listed on amazon, but it can be ordered from Children’s National Medical Center website. This looks like a good addition to a school or guidance library.

Here are some online resources that suggest ways children can express themselves. When Children Face Disaster: The Role of Literacy gives a brief multi-age overview of methods.  Children, Stress, and Natural Disasters: School Activities for Children has specific English and Spanish activities for K-12 students. It also has examples and guidelines and a bibliography of children’s literature on disasters. Using Art in Trauma Recovery with Children discusses the value of art therapy with children.

The VA’s National Center for PTSD offers Japan Disaster: 2011. The Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide is available in Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish. You can find survivor handouts in Japanese as well.

FEMA has a multi-cultural guidebook: How to Help Children After a Disaster: A Guidebook For Teachers. Individual pages can be downloaded as pdfs. The link to the complete resource is unfortunately bad. The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners has a two page pdf: Suggestions, For Helping Children, Teens, and Their Families Cope With Disasters and Traumatic Events. Helping Children Cope with Tragedy Related Anxiety is brief but makes suggestions for different age groups. Counseling Children After Natural Disasters: Guidance for Family Therapists discusses symptoms and provides guidance for parents and teachers. FEMA’s School Intervention Following a Critical Incident lists ways to identify at-risk children as well as suggesting activities.

Finally the Center for Disease Control’s Coping With a Disaster or Traumatic Event is a good resource with pdfs in different languages. I expect the CDC will have specific resources for Japan soon. Helping Families & Children Cope with Trauma in the Aftermath of Disaster also has pdfs and links to other resources.

Please, if you have ideas or have found other Internet resources, just add them to the comments section.

Comments (1)

  1. The Learning Network has a blog entry: 20 Ways to Teach About the Disaster in Japan Across the Curriculum
    http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/03/15/20-ways-to-teach-about-the-disaster-in-japan-across-the-curriculum/

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