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Colorado School Safety Resource Center Trauma Materials

New --  10 Tips for Teaching the Psychological First Aid Model for K-12 Education Agencies

Purpose of the Psychological First Aid Model Psychological First Aid (PFA) is an evidence-informed intervention model to assist students, staff, and families in the immediate aftermath of a disaster or emergency event, and can be used by any trained staff member or school administrator. PFA is designed to reduce the initial distress and trauma caused by emergencies, and to help students return to their usual school-based activities after such an event. By using these brief and effective interventions in the form of the five steps of PFA (Listen, Protect, Connect, Model, and Teach), schools can provide a long-lasting, positive influence on trauma-related stress.  10 Tips for Teaching the Psychological First Aid Model for K-12 Education AgenciesThe Ultimate Guide to Incident Management for Higher Education (PDF – 175 KB).

New -- What to Expect: Texting with Crisis Services

The Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) has created a short video explaining what to expect when reaching out to the Colorado Crisis Services hotline via text. The video is intended for youth audiences, but is a useful resource for anyone wondering what it is like when they text the word TALK to 38255. The short answer is that they will have a free and confidential conversation with a live, trained clinician who can provide support and resources no matter what the situation or time of day. We invite you to share the video with your networks. 

Colorado 211 Service

  • Provides assistance in helping to find services to help people in need of support following a crisis or emergency

Colorado Crisis Support Services

  • Provided by the Colorado Department of Human Services (DHS)
  • This service was created by Senate Bill 13-266 - Coordinated Behavioral Health Crisis Response and launched in December 2014.
  • This initiative will create a foundation for the development of a comprehensive statewide behavioral health crisis care system for individuals, families, and communities.
    • It will improve access to the most appropriate resources and services as early as possible;
    • decrease the number of unnecessary involuntary civil commitments, utilization of hospital emergency departments, jails, prisons, and homeless programs for individuals experiencing a behavioral health emergency; and
    • promote recovery for the individual.
  • Statewide 24-Hour crisis + support line – Lines staffed by skilled professionals and peers to assess and make appropriate referrals to resources and treatment. 1.844.493.8255 (TALK)
  • Walk-in crisis services / crisis stabilization unit(s) – 24 hour Urgent care services with capacity for immediate clinical intervention, triage, stabilization, and connection to services.
  • Mobile crisis services – 24 hour Mobile crisis units with the ability to respond within one-hour in urban and two-hours in rural areas to a behavioral health crisis in the community for immediate clinical intervention, triage, stabilization, and connection to services.
  • Crisis Respite/Residential – A range of short-term crisis residential services (e.g., supervised apartments/houses, foster homes, and crisis stabilization services).
  • Statewide awareness campaign and communication – multi-media campaign/branding and communication to increase awareness of behavioral health illness and resources.
  • Information Sheet

Colorado Flood Resources

Colorado Flood Resources from the Colorado Department of Education (CDE)

  • The Colorado Department of Education compiled information to help school districts and families who have been impacted by the flooding across the state. These resources are intended to help with educational issues associated with natural disasters and to provide information on emergency community assistance.

Colorado Recovery

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Flood Recovery

  • Information and helpful tips on mental health, cleaning up and hygiene, water safety, and worker safety following a flood.
  • Feelings after a flood. Floods can cause people to feel sad, angry, or confused--particularly children. See CDC's flyer, “Feelings After a Flood,” for suggestions on how to help kids understand their feelings after a flooding disaster.
  • Being Safe After a Flood Activity Book ages 3-7 years


  • Apply for federal resources to help recover and rebuild.

Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Statewide Flood Facts

  • Quick and timely information updated twice daily about Colorado flood information.

Flood Resources from the American Clearinghouse on Educational Facilities (ACEF)

  • Resources for helping schools prevent, prepare, respond to, and recover from flood damage.

Other Trauma Resources

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study

  • The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The study is a collaboration between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego. 
  • NEW -- This 2019 technical package from the Centers for Disease Control presents several strategies that can prevent adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) from happening in the first place, as well as strategies to mitigate harm. By addressing the conditions that give rise to ACEs and simultaneously addressing the needs of children and parents, these strategies take a multi-generation approach to prevent ACEs and ensure safe, stable, nurturing relationships and environments. Together, these strategies are intended to work in combination and reinforce each other to prevent ACEs and achieve synergistic impact.Read more about Preventing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Leveraging the Best Available Evidence The Ultimate Guide to Incident Management for Higher Education (PDF – 3.7 MB).


After a Suicide Loss: A Toolkit for Schools

  • Produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) 2011
  • A free resource to help schools cope in the aftermath of a suicide.  Developed in consultation with national experts, this toolkit is a highly-practical resource for schools facing real-time crises, and is applicable for diverse populations and communities.  It includes general guidelines for action, do’s and don’ts, templates and sample materials, and covers topics such as Crisis Response, Working with the Community, Memorialization, Social Media, Suicide Contagion and Bringing in Outside Help.
  • To learn more about other AFSP programs and resources for schools, go to

American Psychological Association

 Back to School Resources: National Child Traumatic Stress Network

  • Resources created to highlight issues related to trauma, to explain how trauma can affect children and adolescents, and to help schools support students and families who have been impacted by trauma.
  • The materials range from basic informational fact sheets to webinars describing interventions for trauma in schools. They cover a variety of trauma types, and are applicable for youth from the preschool to high school years.

COACT Colorado

  • Trauma Informed Care Clinical Consultation Flyer.
  • The Trauma Informed Care Clinical Group is a subcommittee of the COACT Colorado System of Care, an initiative funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The initiative is housed within the Colorado Department of Human Services, Office of Behavioral Health, in partnership with the Office of Children, Youth and Families. The Trauma Informed Care Clinical Group is comprised of licensed mental health professionals with extensive experience serving at-risk children and families. The group provides free consultation to organizations serving children and families who have experienced trauma.

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)

Colorado Association of School Executives

  • Crisis Resources, including tips for talking to students, staff, and families about a crisis; sample communications; helpful reports; and links to outside organizations.

Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA)

  • CCASA promotes safety, justice, and healing for survivors while working toward the elimination of sexual violence. Provides research, resources, and training to enable Colorado communities to believe and support survivors, hold perpetrators accountable, and take action to end sexual violence.
    • This Toolkit, published in 2013, is designed to help Colorado victim advocates, case managers, guidance counselors, educators, medical providers and youth-serving professionals determine the most effective responses for working with survivors of sexual assault/abuse who are teenagers. In some situations, it may be appropriate to share this Toolkit with teens. This Toolkit is not a substitute for legal advice, but rather should be used to provide guidelines while informing agency policies around advocacy, counseling, and medical services for minors as it relates to sexual violence or sexual abuse.
    • Because of the startling prevalence of sexual assault and abuse within the teenage demographic, it is imperative that all youth-serving professionals are able to recognize, respond compassionately, and refer these cases to the appropriate services.

Coping with Disaster

  • Information provided by to help understand reactions to a disaster and special tips for helping children after a disaster.

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress

  • The Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress (CSTS) was established in 1987 to address United States Department of Defense concerns around the psychological impact and health consequences resulting from the impact of traumatic events, to include weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, and natural disasters.

  • Contains research and resources related to all kinds of traumatic stress

  • Teachers Helping Students: Listening and Talking factsheet

Crisis Management Institute

Defending Childhood: Protect, Heal, Thrive

  • Final recommendations from the U.S. Attorney General's Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence, December 2012.
  • The report emphasizes prevention and intervention and underscores the importance of trauma-informed care and victim-tailored services. The task force calls on the federal government, states, tribes, and communities to ensure that all children exposed to violence are identified, screened, and assessed; and to create multidisciplinary councils to facilitate systemwide collaboration.
    • This report presents policy recommendations to address the impact of violence on tribal youth.

Disaster Distress Helpline

  • Call 1-800-985-5990 or text "TalkWithUs" to 66746. Text "Hablanos" to 66746 for Spanish.
  • TTY 1-800-846-8517
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the many issues and problems that might arise from a tragedy.
  • Sponsored by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Helpline immediately connects callers to trained and caring professionals from the closest crisis counseling center in the nationwide network of centers. Helpline staff will provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.
  • The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week national hotline dedicated to providing disaster crisis counseling. The toll-free Helpline is confidential and multilingual, and available for those who are experiencing psychological distress as a result of natural or man-made disasters, incidents of mass violence, or any other tragedy affecting America's communities. 

Discussing Hate and Violence with Your Children

  • A resource for dealing with trauma from the Anti-Defamation League. Stresses that adults need to take time to work through their own feelings and perceptions with other adults before talking to children.

Effects of Traumatic Events on Children  

  • Developed by Dr. Bruce D. Perry and the ChildTrauma Academy in 2003.
  • This introductory booklet is written for an interdisciplinary audience. Caregivers, childcare providers, teachers, law enforcement, child protection workers, social workers, judges, nurses, pediatricians and mental health service providers all are will work with traumatized or maltreated children. The more we can understand these children and the impact of traumatic experiences, the more compassionate and wise we can be in our interactions and in our problem solving.

First Responder Resilience

Helping Children Cope After a Disaster

Medical Home for Children and Adolescents Exposed to Violence

  • The American Academy of Pediatrics, supported by a grant from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) at the U.S. Department of Justice, has launched a new Web site that provides pediatricians the resources they need to modify the operations of their practice to identify, treat, and refer children who have been victims of or witnesses to violence.

Mental Health First Aid Colorado

  • Mental Health First Aid Colorado is a statewide, public education program committed to empowering individuals to identify, understand and respond to those in mental health and substance abuse crises.
  • Mental Health First Aid training is for everybody, especially people who have a lot of contact with the general public — they are the most likely to encounter people who are suffering from emotional health problems. It's particularly helpful to police officers, primary care workers, teachers, faith communities, community leaders, human resource professionals, friends and family of people with mental illness or addiction.
  • Mental Health First Aid Colorado teaches caring Colorado citizens how to recognize symptoms of mental health problems, how to offer and provide initial help, and how to guide a person toward appropriate treatments and other supportive help.
  • Find a Class
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA)
    • The Mental Health First Aid USA Youth Curriculum is a public education program which introduces participants to the unique risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems in adolescents, builds understanding of the importance of early intervention, and most importantly – teaches individuals how to help an adolescent in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Resource Guide 
    • Mental Health First Aid Colorado has complied a resource guide surrounding the intersection of mental health and schools/youth development organizations.
    • Launched in 2014

National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Crisis Resources

National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement

  • Created to promote an appreciation of the role schools can serve to support students, staff and families at times of crisis and loss and to link efforts to provide trauma-related and bereavement support services within school settings.
  • Serves as a resource for information, training materials, consultation and technical assistance for school systems, professional training programs, professional organizations, governmental and non-governmental agencies, communities, children's groups and projects in the areas of crisis and loss
  • Guidelines for Responding to the Death of a Student or School Staff Member

National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH)

  • The National Center on Family Homelessness is the nation's foremost authority on family homelessness. We conduct state-of-the-art research and develop innovative solutions to end family homelessness in America and give every child a chance.
  • America's Youngest Outcasts: A Report Card on Child Homelessness, November 2014
    • This report documents the number of homeless children in every state, their well-being, their risk for child homelessness, and state level planning and policy efforts. Using findings from numerous sources that include well-established national data sets as well as our own research, we rank the states in four domains, and then develop a composite of these domains to rank the states from 1 (best) to 50 (worst). The report also presents causes of homelessness and steps to take to prevent it, as well as discusses the role of trauma.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) | en Español

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)

Optum Health en Español

Parents Helping Youth Cope with Disaster

Psychological First Aid for Children & Parents  

  • This Listen, Protect, Connect is a 16 page booklet that helps frame an approach to helping parents and children in times of disaster or emergencies. Produced in partnership with and The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the University of California Los Angeles, School of Public Health and Disasters and Health and Media Research Group.

Psychological First Aid for Students & Teachers

  • This Listen, Protect, Connect - Model & Teach is a 16 page booklet that helps frame an approach to helping students in times of disaster, school crisis, or emergencies. Produced in partnership with and The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Cincinnati Children's Hospital and The National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement.

Remembering and Responding to Community Tragedy

Sesame Street

  • Sesame Street provides resources for families with young children.
  • Emergencies
    • Hurricanes, storms, and other natural disasters can be difficult for young children who may not fully understand what's going on around them. These tips, activities, and videos can help them feel safe, cope with emotions, and understand that there is hope for the future.
  • Grief
    • Grief is complex; it encompasses a wide range of emotions that can come and go in waves. Use these tips, videos, children's story, and guide to help your family communicate with one another, express emotions, and begin the process of moving forward. You are not alone. And with time, you and your family will experience new happy moments together.
  • Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve
    • When Families Grieve presents families' personal stories about coping with the death of a parent, as well as strategies that have helped these families move forward.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.
  • Behavioral Health Treatment Facility Locator
  • Behavioral Health Disaster Response App, released February 2014
    • Apple App Store
    • Android Google Play Store
    • Blackberry Appworld
    • It’s easier than ever to provide support in the aftermath of disasters, and focus on what really matters—the people in need. SAMHSA Behavioral Health Disaster Response App is designed for behavioral health professionals and provides access to evidenced-based mental health and substance use information, tools, and resources for use in the field.

Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET)

  • Developed by the RAND Corporation in 2009
  • Exposure to community and interpersonal violence is a public health crisis that adversely affects many children in American communities. After witnessing or experiencing trauma, many children experience symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and depression, behavioral problems, substance abuse, and poor school performance. The Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET) program is a series of ten lessons whose structured approach aims to reduce distress resulting from exposure to trauma. Designed to be implemented by teachers or school counselors in groups of 8–10 middle school students, the program includes a wide variety of skill-building techniques geared toward changing maladaptive thoughts and promoting positive behaviors. It is also intended to increase levels of peer and parent support for affected students.

Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma

  • A resource created in 2013 by the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime.
  • Contains videos discussing how violence and trauma affect children, treatments that work, the Child Advocacy Center, and community-based approaches.

Treatment and Services Adaptation Center

  • The Treatment and Services Adaptation Center website is supported by a team of clinicians, researchers, and educators who are respected authorities in the areas of school trauma and crisis response and come from from the RAND Corporation, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), the University of Southern California (USC), and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
  • This site contains tips and resources for parents and educators to support students who have experienced trauma and help improve outcomes for both youth and adults.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS)
    • Mental health professionals are essential to supporting students exposed to traumatic stress. Access information to help clinicians better support traumatized students, including CBITS, an evidence-based intervention for traumatized students.
  • Psychological First Aid: Listen, Protect, and Connect (PFA: LPC)
    • A trauma-informed school provides a network of support for students experiencing daily stressors or extreme events. Review the key components of a trauma-informed school, including PFA—LPC, a crisis response strategy.
  • Support for Students Exposed to Trauma (SSET)
    • ​Educators are often the first line of defense for students coping with traumatic events. Access information to better support students, including SSET, an evidence-based intervention for school staff to help students exposed to traumatic events. 

U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

  • Dear Colleague Letter, July 11, 2013
    • This is a comprehensive guidance letter to child welfare professionals and providers serving children and families who have experienced severe trauma. This guidance—based on emerging research and the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study—encourages the integrated use of trauma-focused screening, functional assessments, and evidence-based best practices to improve children’s well-being.


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