Help & Resources for Individuals Experiencing Stress and Trauma After Recent UVA Incident

Dear Families,

We are saddened by the recent shooting at the UVA campus and know that the news is disquieting to parents and children alike. We are aware that many of you have children at the school who were directly impacted by the incident. We also understand that kids and teens may experience secondary stress when they hear of these events. Secondary stress symptoms include intrusive thoughts, anger, poor concentration, fearfulness, absenteeism, separation anxiety, and fatigue. 

Here are some guidelines that can help your child reduce stress and anxiety associated with secondary stress syndrome and traumatic school experiences: 

  • Decrease exposure to news and social media coverage of the events
  • Engage in healthy activities where your child feels safe
  • Have your child write about their experience to process their emotions
  • Seek professional help to assist your child in overcoming and managing any trauma

It is normal to experience stress and anxiety after an incident like this. Surround them with love and avoid triggers such as discussing the event, news reports, or social media posts in the immediate aftermath. Here are additional resources that can help after a school shooting:

American Psychological Association’s Advice

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s Advice

Resources for Dealing with Traumatic Events in Schools

Resources for school administrators and teachers from National Association of School Psychologists: 

School Violence

How to Respond to School Violence