HOUSTON (Covering Katy News) – The Texas Children’s Hospital Trauma and Grief Center is working to help people through the grief associated with the Santa Fe High School shootings. On Monday TCH announced it was partnering with the Gulf Coast Center and other organizations in the Santa Fe community to support the Santa Fe Strong Resiliency Center.
The Santa Fe Strong Resiliency Center was created in response to the shooting and provides mental health services to those impacted by the massacre.
After such a tragedy, it is common for those involved to experience acute stress reactions, including an array of symptoms such as flashbacks, changes in behavior and functioning (lack of appetite, trouble sleeping), increased startle response, and grief reactions, such as intense sorrow and survivor’s guilt.
Intervention teams from Texas Children’s Hospital Trauma and Grief Center, also known as TAG Center, were deployed following the tragic events of May 18 providing support and crisis management to those students, teachers and families impacted by the shootings. The TAG Center works to raise the standard of care for traumatized and bereaved children, adolescents and their families.
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These services and interventions, which are being made possible through government support, come at no cost to the families and insurance is not required.
“This will be a community in mourning for many years. The impact this tragedy left behind is significant and it will take time to heal and adjust to a new normal,” says Dr. Julie Kaplow, director of the Trauma and Grief Center at Texas Children’s Hospital and associate professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. “Our main concern at the moment is to alleviate the high levels of acute stress and prevent longer-term post-traumatic stress disorder. We are speaking with those impacted, as well as community clinicians and organizations, to address current needs of the community, as well as establish a long-term plan for mental health support.”
Texas Children’s Hospital TAG Center plans to conduct a large-scale needs assessment across the Santa Fe school district that will take place in the fall when students return to school. This assessment will help identify those students who are struggling the most and ensure they get the intervention they need close to home. TAG Center clinicians will also be implementing trauma- and grief-informed interventions, both within the Resiliency Center as well as Santa Fe High School, and provide ongoing consultation to therapists serving the Santa Fe community.
For more information on how to get involved, please visit https://www.texaschildrens.org/departments/trauma-and-grief-center.
Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus is a sponsor of Covering Katy News.