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For Educators

students raising hands in class

Crisis Distress Prevention/Intervention for Educators - Accessing and Using Resources

It is not uncommon for children and youth to show signs of stress months after a crisis or disaster. If left unchecked, chronic stress could develop into more serious mental and behavioral health issues that can interfere with daily life. If children and youth feel unsafe, stressed, or distracted by family issues, they are not able to focus on learning.

Schools can provide positive opportunities and supports for children and youth as they deal with stressors. School and community resources can be coordinated to support children and families and provide pathways to additional direct services, when needed.

The guidelines and resources below will help educators to (a) assess current school and community mental health resources, (b) access user-friendly information resources for educators and families, and (c) help school personnel determine how to provide access to direct services for students and families affected by a crisis.

1. Do you have the information to help yourself?

2. Who in your school district or building is the “go to” designated leader responsible for coordination of the response for educational and mental health issues resulting from crises? Possible choices include: superintendent’s office staff, principal, vice principal, school counselor, school psychologist, or school nurse

3. Do you have school-based providers and community agencies working with the school district to provide supports and services to students and their families? 

  • Work together with community-based mental health providers to complete the Mental Health Services Infrastructure Assessment. This will help to assess the current school infrastructure, processes for student referrals for mental health and behavioral services, and available mental health resources within the school and community.
  • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746 to identify local agencies, such as the Red Cross, that can provide assistance.

4. Have meetings been or will meetings be set up to inform school personnel about typical and atypical students’ responses?

5. Have meetings been or will meetings be set up to reach out to families coping with stress so that families know how to help themselves and their children? Here are some helpful resources for families:

6. Additional Educator Teaching Resources