Child HELP Partnership
The Green Room 42
570 10th Ave. at 42nd St.
March 5th, 7pm
We have seen so many images of traumatic events recently and, sadly, will likely see more. It is important for people to understand how the repeated exposure to these violent and disturbing events can affect mental health, security, and well being for children and adults.
Here is what we know:
- For young children, repeated exposure is frightening because they do not always understand that it is the same thing being played over and over; thus, they think attacks are happening over and over
- For all older children and adults, repeated media exposure to trauma coverage is associated with PTSD and depression symptoms
Here’s what you can do to protect your children and yourself from traumatic stress as a result of media exposure:
- Limit exposure to all media coverage of trauma
- Do not keep news programs running during family time
- Monitor your children’s screen time and content
- Be the source of information for your children:
- Ask what they know
- Tell them what happened in the simplest language appropriate for their developmental level
- Answer only the questions they ask—children ask questions in the format of the language they understand
If you want to learn more about talking to young children about difficult topics, check out the Child HELP Partnership prevention program at: http://www.childhelppartnership.org/information-and-support/what-is-keys/
By Elissa J. Brown, Ph.D. & Alana Moses, M.A.
Most traumatic events, including violence exposure, motor vehicle collisions, and medical illness, affect individuals and their families. Helpers, including physicians, mental health providers, and law enforcement are outsiders—they meet the family after the trauma and often can leave the trauma “at the office” when they return to their homes at the end of the day.
by Lois Beekman Oliveira & Elissa J. Brown
Child sexual abuse is a serious public health problem in the United States, affecting as many as 1 in 10 children. Research shows that there are ways adults can prevent sexual abuse, but these studies are rarely accessed by those who need it the most, parents and other caregivers who take care of children. Even when the information is available, caregivers’ discomfort with the topic of child sexual abuse might stop them from trying the recommended steps. As a result, we at Child HELP Partnership have translated this research to simple steps all adults can take to PREVENT child sexual abuse. In PREVENT, we outline steps to both protect children and overcome any understandable discomfort.
Elissa Brown, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology and Executive Director of the Child HELP Partnership, St. John’s University
The end of 2012 brought two traumatic events to the northeastern U.S., both of which devastated the children and adults who were directly impacted. The power of trauma is that it also impacts those of us who were not directly impacted. At the Child HELP Partnership, a specialized center for child trauma, we were called upon by mental health professionals, educators, clergy, and media to offer advice after Hurricane Sandy and the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Among the questions that arose again and again were: “Should we tell our children? If so, how?”
As much as we want to protect our children from knowing about tragedy, we need to consider the consequences of not telling them, and we need to think about the reasons why we wouldn’t. What role does our discomfort play in avoiding these conversations? Below are my reasoning and suggestions for having these conversations. I have tried to consider my experiences with children and research on children’s development. My goal is to empower you to open the lines of communication and deliver accurate, age-appropriate information to your children.
© 2022 Child HELP Partnership