Project Reassure, a collaborative effort of the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education and The Watson Institute, is the work of an
interdisciplinary team of volunteers and graduate students. We have created resources for adults to use while caring for young victims displaced and/or distressed by traumatic events, such as natural disasters or school violence. We are especially concerned about children with disabilities, whose needs often go unnoticed.
To aid caregivers who may not have a background in mental health or disaster work, Project Reassure offers short handouts with suggestions for: coping
with traumatic stress, music and play activities to pass the time during long hours, communication strategies, and simple interventions to re-establish
calm in the lives of disaster's youngest victims. We hope that our work will continue to reassure future young survivors. Here are some excerpts from
our readable resources for lay caregivers.
- Preschoolers & Toddlers
"Stick with a routine, including times when the child can play & relax."
- Elementary School-aged Children
"Limit details shared with children; limit their exposure to media coverage of the event."
- Special Needs
"Give the child a way to halt an activity or song or entertainment by providing or agreeing on a signal to stop."
"Encourage teens to make a difference by creating a disaster plan for their families... to raise funds for relief ...or to volunteer"