Crisis Recovery Resources
Tips For Students
You have been through something very unexpected, violent and scary. Lots of other students are feeling what you are feeling. Everything you are feeling right now is NORMAL! Over time, your feelings will calm down and you will feel better. Here is some information that will help:
- Don't be afraid of your feelings. If you feel like crying, go ahead. Crying will help you to feel better, because it lets go of stress.
- Everyone has different feelings at different times. Accept your own feelings and those of others.
- If you feel sad or angry a lot, or if you feel numb, talk about it with a friend, a teacher, a parent or a counselor.
- If you are afraid, nervous or spaced out, don't worry---that's normal.
- You might have nightmares or think about bad things a lot. Try to talk it out with someone. Other ways you can work out your feelings are to write, draw, play music, hike, run, or bike.
- The grown ups around you have a lot of feelings about what happened, too. Be patient. They are doing the best they can.
- If you're jumpy or bad-tempered, know that this will go away.
- Don't pressure yourself or others to "get it together". Everyone heals in their own way. It takes time.
- Don't be afraid to ask for help. If you feel like you need help with your feelings, ask your parent or teacher to arrange for a counselor to help.
- When you feel you are ready, try to go back to some of the activities you enjoyed before.
Tips for Teachers, Staff and Mentors
- Be sure that YOU are calm and ready to talk before expecting students to do so. Take deep breaths. Use your support system. If you are in crisis, you cannot be effective.
- Learn the symptoms of trauma and let students know that what they are feeling and experiencing is NORMAL and will be less frequent and painful over time. Let them know that everyone reacts differently, on their own schedule, and all feelings are acceptable. Let them know that asking for help or seeing a counselor is okay.
- Encourage discussion of events. This allows students to express some of the emotions. Discussion also dispels rumors and misinformation.
- Encourage support systems. Groups become vital to re-establish a sense of safety and belonging.
- Do not expect students to "tough it out" or "move on". Grieving and trauma recovery are processes that can't be rushed.
- Remember that one of the hallmarks of trauma is difficulty concentrating and processing information. Do not expect students to perform well in the weeks immediately following the traumatic event.
- Encourage alternative ways of expressing feelings. Suggest journals, drawing, painting, music, dance, etc. Many students cannot express themselves verbally.
- If a student exhibits symptoms that are overwhelming or disruptive, suggest outside counseling by referring the parent(s) to victim compensation.