Our hearts are broken yet again by the senseless mass killings in community after community by dangerous people with access to dangerous weapons designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible. At this writing, 58 concert goers dead in Las Vegas. Over 500 wounded. Several educators are among the victims.
And millions terrified and in trauma that it could happen again.
There’s much to do, but the first thing is to comfort those who lost their friends and family members. So many want to help, and there is an immediate need of donations of dollars, blood and hugs.
Here’s what you can do:
- Donate blood. Now. Call your nearest hospital or Red Cross. Now.
- Donate dollars. Our colleagues at the Nevada State Education Association are recommending a GoFundMe set up by Steve Sisolak, Clark County Commission Chair from Las Vegas. You can donate here:
- Another trusted option is the National Compassion Fund, which distributes donations directly to victims of mass crimes, and has started a campaign specifically for the Las Vegas shooting.
- If you work with students or have children at home, read this important information about how to talk with kids; limiting exposure to media right now; watch for changes in their behavior which might be signs of stress or trauma.
- Learn more about the trauma damage that can happen to any of us – adults or children – when exposed to this type of tragedy and what we can do to protect our own mental health:
- NEA Healthy Futures School Crisis Guide
Knowing what to do in a crisis can be the difference between stability and upheaval. This step-by-step resource created by educators for educators can make it easier for union leaders, school district administrators, and principals to keep schools safe — before, during, and after a crisis.
- National Child Traumatic Stress Network
NCTSN has several pdfs and other resources for helping parents and children deal with catastrophic mass violence events, including parent tips for helping school-age children after disasters, which lists children’s reactions with examples of how parents should respond and what they should say.
- Talking to Children About Tragedies and Other News Events
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) encourages parents, teachers, child care providers, and others who work closely with children to filter information about the crisis and present it in a way that their child can accommodate, adjust to, and cope with.
- How to Help Kids Feel Safe After Tragedy
It’s normal for both adults and kids to feel anxious after such a publicly devastating event, but there are things you can do to minimize the stress and maintain a sense of normalcy.
- Incidents of Mass Violence
Learn about who is most at risk for emotional distress from incidents of mass violence and where to find disaster-related resources.
Our hearts are broken, but we live on dedicated to doing what we can to protect our children and our families and our communities. For now, we send to the victims our prayers and our love.