The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Hotline available for people who need help coping after tragedy
The federal government has a hotline to help people having trouble coping after the Newtown tragedy last week. If you need help, you can call 800/985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” to 66746.
The line will connect you with the nearest crisis center.
The Substance Abuse Mental Health Administration also offers these tips for talking with children and teens after disasters and tragedies:
• Provide children with opportunities to talk about what they are seeing on television and to ask questions.
• Do not be afraid to admit that you cannot answer all of their questions.
• Answer questions at a level the child can understand.
• Provide ongoing opportunities for children to talk. They probably will have more questions as time goes on.
• Use this as an opportunity to establish a family emergency plan. Feeling that there is something you can do may be very comforting to both children and adults.
• Allow children to discuss other fears and concerns about unrelated issues. This is a good opportunity to explore these issues also.
• Monitor children’s television watching. Some parents may wish to limit their child’s exposure to graphic or troubling scenes. To the extent possible, be present when your child is watching news coverage of the event.