Family Mental Health after a Tragedy Download

29:22 Download July 5th

Dr. Keith Klosterman, a marriage and family therapist and Core Faculty member in the Clinical Mental Health Counseling program at Walden University, discussed how to speak to – and comfort – children in the wake of tragedy. From school shootings, to wildfires and headlines about war, many parents are afraid to talk to their children.  Keith reminds us that children are often much more aware of what’s happening than we believe, through social media and their peers kids get a lot of information.   His first suggestion, sort out your own emotions before you begin a conversation.  Listen and acknowledge that it is okay to be worried, or frightened, let them guide your discussion and share your own feelings.  He tells us it’s never too early to ask about your child’s mental health and asks parents to watch for signs of anxiety, depression or changes in behavior.  He recommends visiting the Child Mind Institute for tips and material on helping you and your child develop the coping skills and a healthy life balance to help you manage.  His parting words, we need to provide more and better mental health services for families, and that every child needs a caring adult – a parent, teacher, counselor, to take the time to talk and listen, honestly, in an age-appropriate manner and understand what they are thinking and feeling.  Remember, in a crisis situation your can receive immediate help by text at 741741.  

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