How Families Can Help Children Cope with Fear and Anxiety
Whether tragic events touch your family personally or are brought into your home via newspapers and television, you can help children cope with the anxiety that violence, death, and disasters can cause.
Listening and talking to children about their concerns can reassure them that they will be safe. Start by encouraging them to discuss how they have been affected by what is happening around them. Even young children may have specific questions about tragedies. Children react to stress at their own developmental level.
The Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign offers these pointers for parents and other caregivers:
If you are concerned about your child's reaction to stress or trauma, call your physician or a community mental health center.
The Caring for Every Child's Mental Health Campaign is part of The
Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families
Program of the Federal Center for Mental Health Services. Parents and caregivers
who wish to learn more about mental well-being in children should call
1-800-789-2647 (toll-free) or visit the campaign's Web site. The Federal Center
for Mental Health Services is an agency of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Last Editorial Review: 1/31/2005