Texas Children’s Trauma and Grief (TAG) Center is partnering with the Gulf Coast Center, and others in the Santa Fe community, to support the Santa Fe Strong Resiliency Center, created in the aftermath of the Santa Fe tragedy, which will provide mental health services to those impacted by the recent shooting.
Intervention teams from Texas Children’s TAG Center were deployed following the tragic events of May 18 providing support and crisis management to those students, teachers and families impacted. After such a tragedy, it is common for those involved to experience acute stress reactions, including an array of symptoms such as flashbacks, changes in behavior and functioning (lack of appetite, trouble sleeping), increased startle response, and grief reactions, such as intense sorrow and survivor’s guilt.
These services and interventions, which are being made possible through government support, come at no cost to the families and insurance is not required.
“This will be a community in mourning for many years. The impact this tragedy left behind is significant and it will take time to heal and adjust to a new normal,” says Dr. Julie Kaplow, director of the Trauma and Grief Center at Texas Children’s and associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “Our main concern at the moment is to alleviate the high levels of acute stress and prevent longer-term posttraumatic stress disorder. We are speaking with those impacted, as well as community clinicians and organizations, to address current needs of the community, as well as establish a long-term plan for mental health support.”
Texas Children’s TAG Center plans to conduct a large-scale needs assessment across the Santa Fe school district that will take place in the fall when students return to school. This assessment will help identify those students who are struggling the most and ensure they get the intervention they need close to home. TAG Center clinicians will also be implementing trauma- and grief-informed interventions, both within the Resiliency Center as well as Santa Fe High School, and provide ongoing consultation to therapists serving the Santa Fe community.
Texas Children’s TAG Center works to raise the standard of care and increase access to best-practice interventions among traumatized and bereaved children, adolescents and their families. This program is dedicated to evidence-based assessment and intervention, treatment effectiveness and providing education to better address childhood trauma and grief.
For more information on how to get involved please visit: https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/trauma-and-grief-center