Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters

Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters 

Disasters and traumatic events can happen to anyone at any time. Despite our best efforts to protect children and adolescents from experiencing disasters or trauma, it is impossible to shelter them from every potentially traumatic event. Children exposed to traumatic events and disasters are particularly vulnerable to complicated physical and emotional responses, in part due to their limited life experiences. Adults working with children facing these situations must understand how children react to trauma, as well as how to differentiate adaptive coping responses from those requiring more intervention. In this course, you will learn how trauma impacts children and adolescents, along with the risk factors that place children in greater jeopardy for maladaptive responses to the event. You will learn to recognize typical responses by age and when to seek professional help. This course provides you with clear information about how to apply best practices outlined by the National Institutes of Mental Health and the American Red Cross when working with children exposed to violence and disasters. Note: Throughout this course, for the purpose of brevity, child will refer to child and adolescent. Also, the focus of this course is on responses to natural disaster, violence, and acts of terrorism. This course is not focused on child trauma from child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network regularly provides information regarding treatments and best practices for victims of child abuse and neglect.


Hours: 1.50


Certificates provided by accrediting body (0 Match)

Course Details

Course Code: REL-HHS-0-HCACVD
Hours: 1.5
Type: Online Course
Content Expiration Date: 6/30/2022
Learning Objectives:
Recognize age-appropriate responses to traumatic events or disasters, and differentiate these from coping reactions that require assistance from a mental health professional.
List three risk factors that increase the likelihood of a complicated response to traumatic event or disaster.
Identify three protective factors that decrease the likelihood of serious mental problems after exposure to trauma.
Cite three ways that you can help children cope with trauma and build resilience.

Section 1: Introduction A. About This Course B. Learning Objectives Section 2: Coping With Trauma A. Meet Jessica B. Trauma and Disaster C. How Is Trauma Defined? D. Review E. Summary Section 3: How Children React to Violence and Disaster A. Common Reactions to a Traumatic Event B. Owning Your Fear C. Factors Related to Traumatic Reactions D. Typical Reactions to Traumatic Events and Stage of Development E. Five And Under F. Ages 6 to 11 G. Ages 12 to 17 H. Acute versus Prolonged Problems I. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) J. Risk and Protective Factors K. Meet Tommy L. Summary Section 4: Effective Ways to Help A. Helping Young Survivors B. Your First Response in Case of a Disaster C. Monitor Healing D. Things to Avoid E. Best Practices for Treatment F. Review G. Summary Section 5: How Families and Caregivers Can Help A. Helping Children and Adolescents Cope with Violence and Disasters B. Other Ways to Help Following Violence or Disaster C. More Do’s and Don’ts D. Review E. Summary Section 6: Conclusion A. Summary B. Course Contributors C. Resources D. References E. Congratulations!

Staff Writer: Naju Madra, M.A.

Naju Madra, M.A. is an internal subject matter expert and clinical content writer for Relias' Behavioral Healthcare library. She earned her Master's degree in Psychology with specific study in neuropsychological assessment for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders. She brings with her a wealth of experience in clinical assessment, along with expertise in large-scale clinical research project management, recruitment, training, as well as in-person and web-based curriculum development.

In addition to scholarly activities such as writing manuals and preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals, Ms. Madra has over 15 years of behavioral healthcare experience ranging from crisis counseling and job coaching for individuals with severe mental illness and co-occurring disorders, to community college instruction, and trauma specialist at the Veterans Health Administration. In her current role, Ms. Madra has contributed authorship to over 100 behavioral healthcare course offerings for both licensed and non-licensed professionals in the Health & Human Services market.

Disclosure: Naju Madra, M.A. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Expert Reviewer: Joseph Murphy, Ph.D.
Dr. Joseph Murphy, Ph.D. is a Clinical and Research Psychologist who has extensive clinical and administrative expertise working in the field of Behavioral healthcare at the county and state levels in California, Maryland, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. He has served as a Federal contractor in Behavioral Health. His work supported research at the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, the Military Operational Medicine Psychological Research Program at Ft. Detrick, and the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury, Silver Spring, MD. For nine years he was the Director of State Operated Mental Health programs for At-Risk youth in Butner, North Carolina. He developed a number of webinars and a Peer Training course in Older Adult Behavioral Health Literacy for the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare, and National Libraries of Medicine. He served as Director of a Wellness and Recovery program in Gaithersburg, MD. Disclosure: Joseph Murphy, Ph.D. has declared that no conflict of interest, Relevant Financial Relationship or Relevant Non-Financial Relationship exists.
Target Audience:
The target audience for this course is: Entry, Intermediate level General Staff; in the following settings: Health and Human Services.
Relias will be transparent in disclosing if any commercial support, sponsorship or co-providership is present prior to the learner completing the course.
Course Delivery Method and Format
Asynchronous/Online Distance Learning; please see certificate details for specifics on delivery format.
Relias has a grievance policy in place to facilitate reports of dissatisfaction. Relias will make every effort to resolve each grievance in a mutually satisfactory manner. In order to report a complaint or grievance please contact Relias.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Support by completing the web form ( or by using the chat functionality.
All courses offered by Relias, LLC are developed from a foundation of diversity, inclusiveness, and a multicultural perspective. Knowledge, values and awareness related to cultural competency are infused throughout the course content.
Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, service mark, manufacturer or otherwise does not constitute or imply any endorsement, recommendation, or favoring of, or affiliation with, Relias, LLC.
All characteristics and organizations referenced in the following training are fictional. Any resemblance to any actual organizations or persons living or dead, is purely coincidental.
To earn continuing education credit for this course you must achieve a passing score of 80% on the post-test and complete the course evaluation.
If you require special accommodations to complete this module, please contact Relias Customer Support here.