Research shows that one out of every four students has been exposed to a traumatic event that can impact their learning and/or behavior. As educators, we are faced with tremendous responsibility to assist students – not just through their academic studies, but through emotional situations that may be happening at school or at home. Students who are suffering from traumatic stress need a supportive environment to thrive. But what can schools do to help provide that?
The Treatment and Services Adaptation Center offers many resources to schools to improve support for students suffering from traumatic stress. Some strategies that can be used in the classroom include:
- SSET – Support for Students Exposed to Trauma is a 10-lesson curriculum designed to be implemented in groups of 8-10 students and focuses on skill-building techniques to reduce student problems with anxiety, worry, and depressed mood and to help students deal with real-world stressors.
- PFA-LPC – Psychological First Aid – Listen, Protect, Connect is a tool to help students in the aftermath of violent crimes, such as school shootings. The cornerstone of this strategy is to be available to listen to students feelings and emotions, to talk to them about what is being done to keep them safe, and to continue to reach out and connect with students regularly to ensure they feel supported.
In addition, the Treatment and Services Adaptation Center has videos, written guides, and FAQs for teachers and parents as part of their resource center. Administration can share these videos with teachers and staff via their staff forum, and even organize discussion groups about topics most relevant to your school.
We all hope that our students and children never have to experience a traumatic event, but with these tools, at least we can help those who do.