Traumatic Event Resources

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is a term used to describe the emotional consequences that living through a distressing event can have for an individual. Traumatic events can be difficult to define because the same event can impact people differently. A traumatic event can be an event or circumstance resulting in physical harm, emotional harm, and/or life-threatening harm that can have lasting adverse effects on the individual’s mental health, physical health, emotional health, and social well-being. Here are some examples:

  • A recent single traumatic event (i.e., car crash, house fire, violent assault)
  • A single traumatic event that occurred in the past (e.g., a sexual assault, the death of a spouse or child, an accident, living through a natural disaster or a war)
  • A long-term, chronic pattern (e.g., ongoing childhood neglect, sexual or physical abuse).

Trauma has no boundaries regarding age, gender, socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation.

Find Behavioral Health Resources

Research has shown that traumatic experiences are associated with both behavioral health and chronic physical health conditions, especially those traumatic events that occur during childhood. Having access to resources is an important part of building resilience after trauma. Here are a few resources both nationally and locally:
The Disaster Distress Helpline (DDH) is the first national hotline dedicated to providing year-round disaster crisis counseling. This toll-free, multilingual, crisis support service is available 24/7 to all residents in the U.S. and its territories who are experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. Call or text 1-800-985-5990.
Read more about SAMHSA’s Disaster Distress Helpline »

The Stark County Critical Incident Stress Management Team (StarkCISM) is made up of trained professionals from the mental health and emergency service professions whose mission is to minimize the potentially harmful stress-related symptoms associated with critical incidents.

  • Services available from the Stark County CISM Team are FREE and can be accessed by calling Coleman Crisis at 330-452-6000.
  • Services can be provided to any community member or first responder.
  • Find more information on StarkCISM »


Incidents of mass violence are human-caused tragedies that can impact whole communities and the country at large. These types of disasters, which include shootings and acts of terrorism, often occur without warning and can happen anywhere.

School violence is violence that occurs in a school setting and includes, but is not limited to, school shootings, bullying, interpersonal violence among classmates and student suicide. Youth violence is a serious problem that can have lasting harmful effects on victims and their families, friends and communities.

Read more from SAMHSA on Incidents of Mass Violence »

Supplemental Resources

For Caregivers, Parents & Families

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event – Describes how young children, school-age children, and adolescents react to traumatic events and offers suggestions on how parents and caregivers can help and support them.

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event – Helps parents and teachers recognize common reactions children of different age groups (preschool and early childhood to adolescence) experience after a disaster or traumatic event. Offers tips for how to respond in a helpful way and when to seek support. (SAMHSA)

Talking with Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers – High-profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears. (National Association of School Psychologists)

Resilience guide for parents and teachers from the American Psychological Association – Building resilience – the ability to adapt well to adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or even significant sources of stress – can help our children manage stress and feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. However, being resilient does not mean that children won’t experience difficulty or distress. Emotional pain and sadness are common when we have suffered major trauma or personal loss, or even when we hear of someone else’s loss or trauma.

A national tragedy: Helping children cope – Tips for parents and teachers from National Association of School Psychologists. Whenever a national tragedy occurs, such as a terrorist attack or natural disaster, children, like many people, may be confused or frightened. Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope first and foremost by establishing a sense of safety and security. As more information becomes available, adults can continue to help children work through their emotions and perhaps even use the process as a learning experience.

Coping after Mass Violence – Offers information on coping after mass violence. This fact sheet provides common reactions children and families may be experiencing after a mass violence event, as well as what they can do to take care of themselves.

For Educators & Child Care Providers – Professional & Clinical

A Trauma-Informed Resource for Strengthening Family-School Partnerships from the National Center for Child Traumatic Stress – Helps schools assess what level of partnering currently exists within their school community, areas that require enhancement, and strategies for implementing these enhancements. This tool is for administrators and staff to drive further conversation about family-school partnerships. It builds on the NCTSN Trauma-Informed Schools Framework and is aligned with SAMHSA’s 6 Principles of Trauma-Informed Care: safety; trustworthiness and transparency; peer support and mutual self-help; collaboration and mutuality; empowerment, voice, and choice; and cultural, historical, and gender issues (NCTSN).

Mental Health Response to Mass Violence and Terrorism: A Training Manual – Guides mental health professionals in building an emergency preparedness program to respond to mass violence and terrorism. Includes background information, key concepts in mental health intervention and guidance for setting up a training course (SAMHSA).

Teacher Guidelines for Helping Students after Mass Violence – Offers teachers guidance on helping students after a mass violence event. This fact sheet describes common reactions students may have, how teachers and school staff can help, as well as engage in self-care after a mass violence event.

Students Exposed to Trauma – This information is designed to help teachers respond to students who may need support. It is not intended to be used as a diagnostic tool or to replace the use of formal assessments employed by mental health professionals.

Stress, Trauma, and the Brain | Insights for Educators – In this series of conversations, Dr. Bruce Perry explores the impact of stress and trauma on the brain and the resulting effect on learning. His teachings have helped schools significantly decrease behavior problems and create safe learning environments.

Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Leadership and Crisis Navigation – In this training, school leaders can learn how to use a trauma-informed, resilience-oriented approach to navigate crises that occur in schools.

Considerations for Trauma-Informed Child Care and Early Education Systems – With support from caring adults in their lives, young children can heal from traumatic events without requiring intensive interventions. This highlight provides an overview of research on early childhood trauma and its relevance to CCEE. The highlight also offers evidence-informed strategies and best practices for CCEE leaders to consider when implementing trauma-informed approaches to support young children, parents/caregivers, and CCEE providers.

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