We are heartbroken, devastated, and profoundly shaken by the tragic shootings in Newtown, CT on Friday, December 14, 2012. As with all incidents of senseless violence, we ache for the families who have lost loved ones, and wish for healing in their difficult days, months and years ahead.

This link by David Fassler, MD, with the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry provides a guide for parents, teachers, and caregivers on how to talk with children about community violence:

It's so important to avoid media coverage for young children when violence has occurred. If not possible, then limit that exposure as much as possible and visit with children about what's been seen and heard. A helpful guide for parents on media exposure after a violent incident can be found at the National Child Traumatic Stress Network: http://www.nctsn.org/trauma-types/terrorism. The site has many excellent resources for caretakers and professionals to support children and adolescents affected by trauma.

During such difficult times, all of us need comfort, support, time, soothing activities (i.e., nature, games, creative and expressive arts, music, sports, faith or spiritual practices, etc.) and especially, times with loved ones. Actively connecting with others is one of the most important and restorative human experiences.

When we are lonely or isolated, grieving and/or facing transitions in life, these times are all the more challenging. It takes courage to reach out but doing so can make a difference in our well-being. If neighbors, friends, or loved ones are not available, please do not hesitate to call a local or national hotline for support, referral, or a caring person to talk with.

Below is a list of support hotlines.

Take care,

U.S. Helplines

US Suicide Hotline 1-800-784-2433
NDMDA Depression Hotline – Support Group 800-826-3632
Suicide Prevention Services Crisis Hotline 800-784-2433
Suicide Prevention Services Depression Hotline 630-482-9696
AAA Crisis Pregnancy Center 800-560-0717
Child Abuse Hotline – Support & Information 800-792-5200
Crisis Help Line – For Any Kind of Crisis 800-233-4357
Domestic & Teen Dating Violence (English & Spanish) 800-992-2600
Parental Stress Hotline – Help for Parents 800-632-8188
Runaway Hotline (All Calls are Confidential) 800-231-6946
Sexual Assault Hotline (24/7, English & Spanish) 800-223-5001
Suicide & Depression Hotline – Covenant House 800-999-9999
National Child Abuse Hotline 800-422-4453
National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE
National Domestic Violence Hotline (TDD) 800-787-3224
National Youth Crisis Hotline 800-448-4663