The Patrick Henry Post
Special Edition: In the Face of Tragedy, We Find Community
The Events of October 24th, 2022
Please click here to read the full account from various news sources:
The Response from St. Louis Public Schools
The district provided immediate safety for the students evacuated from Central VPA and Collegiate, and they also set up immediate counseling support for those students, staff, and family members who were impacted by the trauma. See below for resources:
We Honor Ms. Kuczka
Ms. Kuczka lost her life trying to protect her students, and we will never forget her sacrifice.
We Honor Alexandria Bell
Alexandria lost her life because of a senseless act of violence, and we will never forget her beautiful personality and spirit.
When Tragedy Strikes, We Find Community
If you feel scared, worried, anxious, or fearful...
- Share your feelings with someone you trust
- Call the Disaster Distress Helpline. A disaster event such as this is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. People can call or text the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline’s toll-free number (1–800–985–5990) and receive immediate counseling. This free, confidential, multilingual crisis support service is available to anyone experiencing distress as a result of a disaster. People who call and text are connected to trained, caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.
- Check out: Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event—In this tip sheet, SAMHSA defines and describes grief, discusses ways of coping with grief, and explains complicated or traumatic grief. The tip sheet also offers relevant resources for additional support: https://store.samhsa.gov/product/Tips-for-Survivors-/SMA17-5035
- Check out: The Impact of Disaster and Mass Violence Events on Mental Health—Intended for mental health and substance use disorder treatment professionals, this online article from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) summarizes research on common reactions to disasters. The article identifies common reactions in disaster-affected communities and describes how reactions increase and decrease in communities over time, as well as highlighting risk factors for longer term reactions: https://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/treat/type/violence_trauma_effects.asp
If you don't know how you really feel...
- Ask trusted people in your life how they feel and ask them to help you process together
If you feel like you need help...
- Share your feelings and thoughts with someone you trust
- 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline—The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a source of support available 24/7 to people in crisis, including people experiencing challenging reactions to disasters. Call 988 for support or visit: https://988lifeline.org
- Call ALM Hopewell: 866-376-0962
- Call BJC Behavioral Health: 314-747-7412
- Call Places for People: 800-811-4760
- Behavioral Health Response (BHR) Youth Connection helpline: 844-985-8282 or text BHEARD to 31658
- Provident Behavioral Health 314-533-8200
- Family Forward 314-534-9350
- Care and Counseling 314-878-4340
- Lutheran Family and Children’s Services 314-787-5100
- Youth In Need Counseling services - “Clients must be youth under 19-years-old who live or attend school in St. Louis, St. Charles or Lincoln Counties. All counseling services are provided at no cost.” 314-594-5010 in St. Louis County
If you know someone else who needs help...
- Ask trusted people in your life for help and tell them why you think this person needs help
If you are a parent and your child needs help...
- Coping after Mass Violence—Written for parents and families, this National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) tip sheet provides information about common reactions to mass violence and self-care tips for those living in communities where an incident of mass violence has taken place. The tip sheet also includes external resources for individuals seeking further support.
- Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth after the Recent Shooting—In this 3-page tip sheet released shortly after a shooting, the NCTSN describes how such an event may affect children and teens as well as parents and other caregivers. The tip sheet lists reactions common among people of all ages, offers coping tips for caregivers, and suggests ways for caregivers to support children and youth in talking about and managing their reactions.
This resource is available in Spanish at https://www.nctsn.org/resources/guia-para-los-padres-para-ayudar-los-jovenes-despues-de-un-tiroteo-reciente.
- School Violence Resources https://www.nasponline.org/resources-and-publications/resources-and-podcasts/school-safety-and-crisis/school-violence-resources
- Talking to Children about the Shooting—In this tip sheet, the NCTSN provides suggestions to parents and other caregivers for talking with their children in ways that help them to make sense of and cope with their reactions to a shooting. The tip sheet also identifies reactions common in children and teens to shooting incidents.
- Tips for Parents on Media Coverage—In this tip sheet, the NCTSN explains the effects that media coverage of a violent incident may have on children and teens and suggests ways for parents and other caregivers to help children and teens manage reactions to media coverage and the violent event. The tip sheet also includes tips for families with involvement in a violent incident.
- Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers—This SAMHSA tip sheet can help parents, other caregivers, and teachers recognize and address problems in children and teens affected by a disaster. The tip sheet describes reactions that are common in young survivors at different ages, as well as how to help children cope with these reactions.
- Understanding Child Trauma—This web page from SAMHSA presents statistics on child trauma, which may be experienced as part of a natural or human-caused disaster, and lists signs of traumatic stress in children and youth. It also offers tips for parents and other caregivers for helping children and youth to cope with trauma. Links are also provided to downloadable infographics in English and Spanish provided by the SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative.
- Psychological First Aid for Schools (PFA-S) Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition—Developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, this guide defines PFA-S, a model school communities can use to support students, their families, and staff immediately after a natural or human-caused disaster. Appendix C of the guide includes handouts for responders, parents and families, and students after a disaster.
- Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event—In this information and tip sheet, the NCTSN provides an overview of how children and adolescents may react to a traumatic event, including a natural or human-caused disaster that they experience as traumatic. This resource describes reactions typical within specific age ranges and offers tips for families, doctors, and school personnel to help children and adolescents cope.
- Once I Was Very Very Scared—This book for young children introduces several animal characters (e.g., squirrel, turtle, dog) who have gone through traumatic experiences, including disaster trauma, and are experiencing different reactions. It can be used by parents and other important adults in the lives of children to talk about difficult and traumatic experiences and support children in coping. The book is available in several languages other than English.
- PFA: Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children after Disasters—This handout lists reactions children may have to disasters, ways parents can respond helpfully to these reactions, and examples of things parents can do and say to support their school-age children after a disaster. The handout is part of the PFA Field Operations Guide.
- Recovery From Large-Scale Crises: Guidelines for Crisis Teams and Administrators—In this tip sheet, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) describes what to expect in schools after disasters and other crises and how school crisis teams and administrators can support the school community in coping and recovery. NASP identifies steps administrators and crisis teams can take at different points after the crisis, from immediately after the crisis to more than a year later.