flooded playground

Crisis Response

Below are just a few resources to assist you in working with students, schools, families and communities following a traumatic event.


Disaster Distress Helpline

Call 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.

helpline“The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the many issues and problems that might arise from tragedy and traumatic events.   Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.  The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and multilingual, and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence, or any other tragedy affecting America’s communities.

Our texting service also is available to Spanish speakers. Text “Hablanos” to 66746 for 24/7 emotional support. TTY for Deaf/Hearing Impaired: 1-800-846-8517”


General Resources

Crisis Response & Intervention: Responding to Tragedy
Source: School Social Work Association of America

Crisis Response Resources to Assist Parents
Source: School Social Work Association of America


Resources for Educators

Rearview of a little boy getting a big hug from his mom in the morning outsideChild Trauma Response Toolkit for Educators
Source: National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Coalition to Support Grieving Students: Click here.

The Coalition to Support Grieving Students is a unique collaboration of the leading professional organizations representing classroom educators (including teachers, paraprofessionals, and other instructional staff), principals, assistant principals, superintendents, school board members, and central office staff, student support personnel (including school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, school social workers, and other student support personnel), and other school professionals who have come together with a common conviction: grieving students need the support and care of the school community.

The Coalition’s purpose is to create and share a set of industry-endorsed resources that will empower school communities across America in the ongoing support of their grieving students.

Click here for resources.

Coping with Traumatic Events:  Resources for Children, Parents, Educaors, and Other Professionals
Numerous resources.
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Crisis Management Institute
Training and resources for crisis

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters:  What (Educators &) Community Members Can Do
(20 pages)
Source: National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

How Can Schools Cope With Tragedy? Crisis Response Resources for Administrators
Source: School Social Work Association of America

Practical Guide for Crisis Response in our Schools
Source: National Center for Crisis Management : American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress

School Based Crisis Intervention
Source: UCLA Center for Mental Health in Schools

School Crisis Guide: Helping and Healing in a Time of Crisis
(54 page PDF document)
Source: National Education Association & Health Information Network

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers
(4 pages)


School/District Crisis Response–Is Your School/District Ready?

A school bus slides off from a slippery road.Creating Emergency Management Plans
Source: U.S. Department of Education

Disaster Preparedness, Response, and Recovery
Numerous resources
Source: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration

Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plan (75 pages)
Source: U.S. Department of Education

Guide for Developing High-Quality School Emergency Operations Plans: At a Glance
Source: Department of Education’s Readiness & Emergency Management for Schools

A Practical Guide for Crisis Response in Our Schools
Source: National Center for Crisis Management: Guide for Crisis Response in Schools  $26.95

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network


The New York State School Social Workers Association (NYSSSWA) is the only professional association dedicated solely to the visibility and viability of School Social Workers in New York State.

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