Natural disasters and other traumatic events can significantly impact on infants and children, who rely on the adults around them for safety and security. The Emerging Minds: National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health’s (NWCCMH) newly released Community Trauma Toolkit is a suite of resources to help workers and parents/carers to support children before, during and after a disaster or traumatic event.
The Toolkit is tailored to six key audiences: educators, first responders, community leaders, parents/carers, GPs, and health and social service practitioners; and grouped into five significant timelines: preparedness, immediate, short-term, long-term and ongoing recovery. It contains a variety of information and tools including videos, podcasts, training workshops, infographics and downloadable factsheets.
The Toolkit will equip users to:
- prepare children and their families both practically and psychologically for a disaster
- interact with children during the event in a way that may enhance their resilience and recovery
- support children and their families in the ongoing recovery process
- understand the importance of self-care during and after a traumatic event; and
- identify any emotional and behavioural difficulties in children that may indicate more ongoing, specialised support is needed.
A year in the making, the Toolkit was developed by Emerging Minds and the Australian National University (ANU) as part of the National Workforce Centre for Child Mental Health project. It included extensive consultation with the key audience groups, disaster recovery and resilience organisations and experts, and children and families with a lived experience of community trauma events.