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My family is in shock, feeling grief and anger. How do we handle emotional trauma and upset?


Traumatic events are marked by a sense of horror, helplessness, serious injury, or the threat of serious injury or death. Traumatic events affect survivors, rescue workers, and the friends and relatives of victims who have been involved. They may also have an impact on people who have seen the event either firsthand or on television.

A person’s response varies, but you may see different emotional, physical, and behavioral ways of coping. To learn about the signs and symptoms and how you can help, you may want to visit the following sites:


  • Coping With a Traumatic Event (CDC)
    This site provides general information about traumatic events and describes how people typically respond during a disaster. Information is also provided about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how you can help yourself and others.

  • Coping with Traumatic Events (NIH/NIMH)
    This site provides information about research on coping with traumatic events. Links are provided to publications for mental health professionals and community leaders to aid their efforts to provide assistance.

  • Coping with Disasters (MedlinePlus)
    This library site provides links to HHS and external organizations with resources for coping with disasters.

  • Coping with Traumatic Events (SAMHSA)
    Provides information on understanding mental illness, links to mental health clearinghouses, and information based on audience types (students, schools, adults, families) 


Mental Health Resources:

  • Trauma and Disaster Mental Health Resources (CDC)
    Provides information and resources for disaster responders, health professionals, States and Planners. Educational materials are made available for use by professionals.

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) (NIH/NIMH)
    Research materials and resources are provided for professionals dealing with people suffering after a disaster.

  • Stress and Anxiety (SAMHSA)
    Provides guides for professionals in managing stress caused by a disaster.

Last Updated: 5/21/2007