Mass Violence

Mass violence events are human-caused tragedies that can impact whole communities. These types of events include shootings, acts of terrorism, or mass riots. These violent acts typically target defenseless citizens with the intent to harm or kill. Survivors may have feelings of confusion, fear, and helplessness. Sometimes, those with no personal connections to the event may even be impacted. It's normal for people to experience emotional distress after an event like this. Some may experience anxiety, trouble sleeping, and other depression-like symptoms in response to incidents of mass violence.

Find Help: Statewide

988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline
The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is a source of support available 24/7 to people in crisis, including people experiencing challenging reactions to disasters.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
An event such as this is unexpected and often brings out strong emotions. People can also call or text the toll-free number (1–800–985–5990) and receive immediate counseling. This free, confidential, multilingual crisis support service is available to anyone experiencing distress as a result of a disaster. 

Community Mental Health Centers
Mental Health services for the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) are accessed through 25 service areas, with each service area serving particular counties of the state. Community Mental Health Centers and/or Affiliates are responsible for providing these services. 

Find Help: Kansas City

Beacon Mental Health (formerly Tri-County Mental Health)
3100 Northeast 83rd Street
Kansas City, MO 64119
Open 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (M-F)
Phone: 816-468-0400 (ask for Caitlyn Violett, Director of Crisis and Access)

Comprehensive Mental Health Services
17886 East 23rd Street
Independence, MO 64057
Phone: 988

Behavioral Health Urgent Care Clinic
7001 BlueRidge Boulevard
Raytown, MO 64133
Open 9:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Phone: 816-988-2739

3801 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard
Kansas City, MO 64130
Phone: 888-279-8188

University Health – Kansas City
University Health Behavioral Health
300 West 19th Terrace
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: 888-279-8188

Trauma Informed Care Courses

The Department of Mental Health created a series of trauma informed care courses which include topics on trauma informed care, trauma informed care for teens, and trauma informed care for helping professionals.

Sign up today and enroll in the courses that interest you. More information on the Trauma Informed Care Courses, including enrollment instructions, can be found on the Trauma Informed Care Course Flyer.


Microlearning Courses

The Department of Mental Health created a series of microlearning courses in response to the recent violence that took place in the City of St. Louis. These courses are designed to be utilized on the web or from a mobile device. Share the link or QR code today!


The Office of Disaster Services conducts trainings as well as provides information on various trainings for different audiences and all Missourians, such as First Responders, educators, parents, children, etc. 

Learn more about training opportunities. 

Mobile App

Transcend NMVC Mobile App
The National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center (NMVVRC) has developed the Transcend NMVC mobile app to assist with recovery from the psychological and behavioral response that can occur following direct or indirect exposure to mass violence incidents. Although the app was developed specifically for mass violence victims, people exposed to other types of stressful events are also likely to find the strategies and techniques in the app to be useful in their recovery, as well.


General Response and Recovery

A Guide to Managing Stress for Disaster Responders and First Responders
This SAMHSA guide is designed for first responders, public health workers, construction workers, transportation workers, utility workers, crisis counselors, and volunteers who respond to disasters and other crises. The guide provides information on how people experience stress; signs of extreme stress; and ways for organizations and individuals to manage and mitigate stress before, during, and after disaster response. 

American Psychological Association: Managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting
You may be struggling to understand how a shooting could occur and why such a terrible thing would happen. There may never be satisfactory answers to these questions.

Coping with Stress Following a Mass Shooting
It is important to manage our response to mass shootings so we are able to care for ourselves, our families, and our communities.

Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series Resource Center
The SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series Resource Center is a collection that focuses on incidents of mass violence and community violence and their effects. Resources include common reactions to incidents of mass violence, tips for coping, and ways to support children and youth in coping.

Mass Violence
Developed by the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response Technical Resources, Assistance Center, and Information Exchange team, this resource collection is designed to help emergency managers, public health professionals, and other responders support communities affected by an incident of mass violence. The resource collection features topical collections, newsletters, and other materials about community response, family assistance, emergency medical considerations, and responder safety and health.

Mental Health Considerations After a Traumatic Event
A product of Voices Center for Resilience (VOICES), a nonprofit formed after the attacks of September 11, 2001, this tip sheet highlights common reactions to acts of violence, civil unrest, or terrorism. It identifies signs of the need for professional mental health support, coping tips during short- and long-term recovery, and signs of mental illnesses that may arise in the aftermath of exposure to violence.

National Mass Violence Victimization Resource Center
The NMVVRC serves as the source for best evidence to achieve a social understanding of mass violence upon which civic leaders, mental health professionals, journalists, policy makers, and victim service professionals can rely. The vision is to provide communities access to evidence-based information and resources needed to effectively prepare for and respond to mass violence incidents.

Psychological First Aid
Gives guidance on responding to disaster or terrorism events using the Psychological First Aid (PFA) intervention. This evidence-informed approach helps to assist children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disaster and terrorism.

PFA: Tips for Adults (En Español)
PFA: Alcohol, Medication, and Drug Use after Disaster

Rebuild your Community: Resources for Community Leaders
After a mass violence incident, communities typically respond quickly to address the danger and give practical, financial, and emotional help.

Resources for Immediate Disaster Behavioral Health Response
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration - Disaster Technical Assistance Center has prepared a collection of resources that may be useful for impacted communities in the aftermath violence. 
This resource collection includes materials focused on general behavioral health needs after a violent incident, as well as separate sections listing materials for college students and young adults, people with substance use issues and conditions, first responders and disaster responders, and people with experience of trauma, as well as additional resources for acute needs.

Resources for Survivors and the Public Following Disaster and Mass Violence
The National Center for PTSD has a web page of resources available with information and tools to help you deal with the stress you may feel after a disaster or mass violence event. Resources cover how to cope in the short- and long-term, self-care, triggers, and printable handouts. Many of the resources are also available in Spanish.

Resources for Victim Assistance Professionals
Victim service professionals supporting those affected by mass violence incidents must be aware of victims’ unique needs in order to connect them to the right resources. The tools below have been developed specifically for readiness, response and resilience, ensuring that VSPs are prepared for – and can appropriately respond to – a mass violence incident.

The path to recovery is different for every victim of a mass violence incident. Self-help resources may be useful as a way to begin your own healing process or to provide help to a child or someone close to you. These resources are not a substitute for treatment from a health care professional, but they may help you learn important skills and coping strategies.

Serving Communities of Diverse Cultures and Languages After Mass Violence
This tip sheet intends to assist consultants entering communities affected by mass violence in enhancing their cultural competence. Emphasizing the importance of understanding diverse cultures and languages, the tip sheet encourages consultants to be culturally appropriate and sensitive to the beliefs and practices of affected populations. 

The Impact of Disaster and Mass Violence Events on Mental Health
Intended for mental health and substance use disorder treatment professionals, this online article from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) summarizes research on common reactions to disasters. The article identifies common reactions in disaster-affected communities and describes how reactions increase and decrease in communities over time, as well as highlighting risk factors for longer term reactions.

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit
Provided by the Office for Victims of Crime within the U.S. Department of Justice, this online toolkit is designed to help responders and others who are exposed to the traumatic experiences of other people in coping with the effects of this exposure. The toolkit includes information and resources specifically for emergency medical services, fire, and law enforcement, as well as victim services professionals.

Timeline of Activities to Promote Mental Health Recovery: Recommendations Before, During, and Following a Mass Violence Incident
This tip sheet targets Victim Service Providers (VSPs), Mental Health Professionals (MHPs), emergency management planners, and others who serve victims impacted by an MVI. It contains information to prepare communities to address the mental health needs of victims and family members, as well as improve trauma- and grief related symptoms in the immediate aftermath and throughout the recovery process.

Tips for Survivors: Coping With Anger After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
Developed by SAMHSA, this tip sheet intends to aid survivors in coping with bouts of anger that may follow disasters or traumatic events. The tip sheet describes the physical changes that may indicate anger and provides guidance for coping and integrating positive habits into your life, as well as resources for additional support.

Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After Community Violence
This tip sheet from SAMHSA contains information about some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence and how to cope. It lists reactions that children may experience—including depression, posttraumatic stress, and risky behavior—and how to help them.

Tips for Survivors: Coping With Grief After a Disaster or Traumatic Event
In this tip sheet, SAMHSA defines and describes grief, discusses ways of coping with grief, and explains complicated or traumatic grief. The tip sheet also offers relevant resources for additional support.

Children, Youth, Parents, and Other Caregivers

After a Crisis: Helping Young Children Heal (En Español)
Offers tips to parents on how to help young children, toddlers, and preschoolers heal after a traumatic event.

Age-Related Reactions to a Traumatic Event (En Español; ASL)
In this information and tip sheet, the NCTSN provides an overview of how children and adolescents may react to a traumatic event, including a natural or human-caused disaster that they experience as traumatic. This resource describes reactions typical within specific age ranges and offers tips for families, doctors, and school personnel to help children and adolescents cope.

Assisting Parents/Caregivers in Coping with Collective Traumas
Coping strategies for parents/caregivers who have experienced or witnessed trauma.

Creating Supportive Environments When Scary Things Happen (En Espanol)
Offers guidance on creating supportive environments for youth when scary things happen. This fact sheet includes information on routines, rhythm, and rituals.

Community Violence
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) has a page on community violence and the common types that affect youth, including bullying and shootings in public areas. Living with chronic community violence can cause youth to lose their sense of safety. This page leads to a list of NCTSN resources on how to help youth, create supportive environments, and more.

Coping after Mass Violence (in ASL)
Written for parents and families, this National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) tip sheet provides information about common reactions to mass violence and self-care tips for those living in communities where an incident of mass violence has taken place. The tip sheet also includes external resources for individuals seeking further support.

Coping Facts for Children
When there is major interruption in the natural flow of life, children can experience anxiety and fear. Disasters are dramatic and intense experiences, especially unsettling to children. Distress reactions are normal following a disaster. During and after disasters adults can help children cope by understanding what children feel, how they act, and what actions can be taken to deal with distress.

For Teens: Coping after Mass Violence (En Español, ASL)
Tip sheet for teens to learn to cope after mass violence.

Helping Older Adults After Disasters: A Guide to Providing Support
Designed for anyone supporting older adults after a disaster, this SAMHSA guide highlights reactions to disasters that are common among survivors of all ages, as well as unique challenges older adults may face after disasters and how response workers can help. The guide also identifies resources available to help in connecting older adults with services and supports. 

Helping School-Age Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)
Describes how school-age children may feel when struggling with the death of someone close and offers tips on what caregivers can do to help.

Helping Seniors Recover and Stay Well after a Disaster or Emergency: Tips for Families and Caregivers
Provided by the Alberta (Canada) Government and Alberta Health Services, this online article highlights the diversity of the older adult population and notes that this diversity is reflected in the range of reactions older adults may have to disasters. The article identifies key considerations, older adults who may need additional assistance after a disaster (e.g., older adults who are in poor physical health), and ways to support older adults who have survived a disaster. 

Helping Teens with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)
Describes how teens may feel when struggling with the death of someone close and offers tips on what caregivers can do to help.

Helping Young Children with Traumatic Grief: Tips for Caregivers (En Español)
Outlines the feelings of young children struggling with the death of someone meaningful and offers suggestions on what caregivers can do to help.

Once I Was Very Very Scared
This book for young children introduces several animal characters (e.g., squirrel, turtle, dog) who have gone through traumatic experiences, including disaster trauma, and are experiencing different reactions. It can be used by parents and other important adults in the lives of children to talk about difficult and traumatic experiences and support children in coping. The book is available in several languages other than English.

Parent Guidelines for Helping Youth After the Recent Shooting (En Español, ASL)
This tip sheet describes how such an event may affect children and teens as well as parents and other caregivers. It lists reactions common among people of all ages, offers coping tips for caregivers, and suggests ways for caregivers to support children and youth in talking about and managing their reactions. This resource is also available in Spanish. 

Psychological First Aid
Gives guidance on responding to disaster or terrorism events using the Psychological First Aid (PFA) intervention. This evidence-informed approach helps to assist children, adolescents, adults, and families in the aftermath of disaster and terrorism.

PFA: Parent Tips for Helping Infants and Toddlers (En Español)
PFA: Parent Tips for Helping Preschoolers (En Español)
PFA: Parent Tips for Helping School-Age Children (En Español)
PFA: Parent Tips for Helping Adolescents (En Español)

Psychological Impact of Mass Violence
Provides parents and providers with information about the psychological impact of a mass violence event. This fact sheet describes common reactions to events like this, posttraumatic stress reactions, grief reactions, depression, physical symptoms, trauma and loss reminders, traumatic grief, post-disaster adversities, and coping after catastrophic violence.

Talking to Children about the Shooting
In this tip sheet, the NCTSN provides suggestions to parents and other caregivers for talking with their children in ways that help them to make sense of and cope with their reactions to a shooting. The tip sheet also identifies reactions common in children and teens to shooting incidents.

Talking to Children about Terrorist Attacks and School and Community Shootings in the News
This guide offers advice on how to talk to children about tragic events, such as shootings and terrorist attacks, that they are likely to hear about at school and/or on the news.

Talking to Children about Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers
High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved-ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

Talking to Children When Scary Things Happen (En Espanol)
This fact sheet provides adults with the guidance necessary to speak to children about scary or violent occurrences happening in the world. The fact sheet outlines a conversational approach that is digestible for children and supportive of their emotions toward such events

Talking to Teens: When Violence Happens (En Espanol)
Offers guidance on talking with teens when violence happens. This fact sheet includes information on checking in with yourself, clarifying your goal, providing information and options, reflection, asking helpful questions, going slow, labeling emotions, validating, and monitoring media and social media exposure.

The Power of Parenting: How to Help Your Child After a Parent or Caregiver Dies
Offers guidance around helping children cope after the death of a loved one. Information is provided about how to face new fears in the context of bereavement, how grieving caregivers can take care of their own needs, how to help children hold on to the old while embracing the new and how to create comforting connections. In this fact sheet, co-developed by parents and professionals, parents share their knowledge gained from experience and provide practical, real life examples, that can help support families and their children who are experiencing grief and bereavement.

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event: A Guide for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers
This SAMHSA tip sheet can help parents, other caregivers, and teachers recognize and address problems in children and teens affected by a disaster. The tip sheet describes reactions that are common in young survivors at different ages, as well as how to help children cope with these reactions.

Tips for Young Adults: Coping With Mass Violence
SAMHSA DTAC explains how incidents of mass violence may affect young adults (ages 18 to 26). The tip sheet highlights common reactions to mass violence, coping tips, and resources for disaster behavioral health support.

Understanding Child Trauma
This web page from SAMHSA presents statistics on child trauma, which may be experienced as part of a natural or human-caused disaster, and lists signs of traumatic stress in children and youth. It also offers tips for parents and other caregivers for helping children and youth to cope with trauma. Links are also provided to downloadable infographics in English and Spanish provided by the SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative.

School Violence

The National Association of School Psychologists put together an extensive list of resources for school violence. This list was developed to help educators and administrators support students and families cope with bullying and school violence.

Coalition to Support Grieving Students
This is a unique collaboration of the leading professional organizations representing teachers, principals, assistant principals, superintendents, school board members, central office staff, student support personnel, and other school professionals who have come together with a common conviction: grieving students need the support and care of the school community.

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement (NCSCB)
NCSCB is located at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles and is dedicated to supporting students through crisis and loss. They have assisted hundreds of schools and communities in the U.S. and abroad cope in the aftermath of tragedy, playing a vital role in helping to foster resilience after crisis events. They provide crisis response, education, training, advocacy, and research.

Psychological First Aid for Schools (PFA-S) Field Operations Guide, 2nd Edition
Developed by the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, this guide defines PFA-S, a model school communities can use to support students, their families, and staff immediately after a natural or human-caused disaster. Appendix C of the guide includes handouts for responders, parents and families, and students after a disaster.

Recovery From Large-Scale Crises: Guidelines for Crisis Teams and Administrators
In this tip sheet, the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) describes what to expect in schools after disasters and other crises and how school crisis teams and administrators can support the school community in coping and recovery. NASP identifies steps administrators and crisis teams can take at different points after the crisis, from immediately after the crisis to more than a year later.

Resources for Helping Youth Cope after a Mass Shooting
In response to recent mass shootings, the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs (IWGYP) has compiled a list of resources to help youth, families, educators, and community members cope with and talk about community trauma, as well as provide psychological first aid. 

Violence Prevention

Violence Prevention
This page from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains what community violence is and how some populations are disproportionately impacted by it. Community violence can not only lead to physical injuries but can leave individuals with mental health conditions such as anxiety and PTSD.

Media Coverage

Coping with Media Coverage of Disasters
Disasters can be chaotic, confusing and frightening events, both for those who experience them directly and for those who learn about them through the media. Learn strategies and coping skills for children, teens, and adults.

Tips for Parents on Media Coverage
In this tip sheet, the NCTSN explains the effects that media coverage of a violent incident may have on children and teens and suggests ways for parents and other caregivers to help children and teens manage reactions to media coverage and the violent event. The tip sheet also includes tips for families with involvement in a violent incident.