Friday’s tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School have left this nation heartbroken, and we continue to grieve for each life that was lost. While information is still being revealed and many questions are unanswered, we extend our heartfelt condolences and offer any resources that may be of service for the community of Newtown, Connecticut.
It is important for each of us to embrace any emotions we have in response to this tragedy. Below are resources from partnering agencies that may offer some support during this very critical time:
- For local assistance, Georgia residents can access services by calling the Georgia Crisis and Access Line (GCAL) at 1-800-715-4225 or visiting www.mygcal.com. GCAL is a statewide 24 hour resource for access to all services that are available.
- Georgia Disaster Mental Health website
- SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (SAMHSA DTAC) has free downloadable resources about coping with grief, how to speak with children and youth about disasters and traumatic events, and other helpful materials. For more information, please visit the SAMHSA DTAC website. You can also contact SAMHSA DTAC by e-mailing DTAC@samhsa.hhs.gov or calling the toll-free hotline at 1-800-308-3515.
- Disaster Distress Helpline is the nation’s first permanent hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via telephone (1-800-985-5990) and SMS (Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 or for Spanish-speakers, Text “Hablanos” to 66746 ) for anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this tragedy. Callers are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services. The Helpline complements the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, FEMA, and other disaster response entities and is available immediately anywhere within the United States.
- Information on managing your distress and helping your children manage their distress can be found on the American Psychological Association website.
- The American Psychiatric Association offers Resources for Parents and Professionals - Coping with Tragedy
Restoring a Sense of Safety in the Aftermath of A Mass Shooting: Tips for Parents and Professionals - Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
Tips for Talking to Children about the Connecticut School Shooting - Healthy Minds
Talking to Children about Disasters - American Psychiatric Association
- Mental Health America has developed guidelines to help Americans respond and cope with tragic events
- Additional resources are also available from:
Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress
University of Maryland Center for School Mental Health
U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
Frank W. Berry
Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities