Returning to School After a Crisis: A Guide to Addressing Traumatic Events at School

Following a crisis like a school shooting, students and community members in the surrounding area are likely to experience a trauma response. Students in surrounding communities may experience vicarious trauma or secondary traumatic stress. Although their healing journeys may look different, this guide provides lessons learned from previous school shootings, strategies teachers can use to discuss these events with their students, and shares strategies and resources that can be used to help students cope with their trauma response.

The guide is intended to support school staff when returning following a crisis. It contains information about common responses to trauma, warning signs that a student is in distress, tips for talking and working with students as they return, as well as resources for those who need mental health support.

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Topic Areas

Mental Health

Crisis Timeline



Mental Health Professionals, Parents & Families, School Personnel

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