Support for Haiti
Along with the rest of the world, the hearts and thoughts of NASP members, leadership, and staff go out to the people of Haiti and those trying to aid survivors. It will be some time before comprehensive or school-related mental health services can be made available to children on the ground.
Supporting Children and Families in the U.S.
Here in the United States, many schools will be supporting children affected by the disaster either because they are from Haiti and have family there or are from another part of the world recently devastated by a natural disaster. NASP is working with Haitian-American school psychologists to develop resources for school mental health professionals, educators, and caregivers, specific to this population and set of needs. Additionally, the NASP Children's Fund is collecting donations to support children affected by the earthquake.
Currently, NASP’s natural disaster resources are available online. Most specific right now are:
Monitor Media Exposure
It is especially important to remind adults to monitor children’s exposure to media images, particularly young children and those with preexisting trauma risk. The media images of this catastrophe are much more graphic than for any other natural disaster or crisis in recent history. Exposure to these images can trigger trauma response in children and adults. This can be true for children who are not directly connected to this tragedy.
Additionally many parents and other caregivers are likely to be emotionally and psychologically stressed as they learn or wait to hear the fate of loved ones in Haiti. Some may not be aware of or able to meet the emotional needs of their children.
Trauma and Crisis Resources
Other NASP resources specific to helping children cope with crisis and loss include:
NASP Children's Fund Haiti Earthquake Relief
The NASP Children's Fund is collecting donations for the Haiti Fund to help provide relief for the people of Haiti who have suffered the devastating affects of the earthquakes in January 2010. The Children's Fund will be establishing two funds: the first will come from the monies donated by mail or online through the NASP website and will be given to the American Red Cross for the immediate relief effort; the second fund from donations at the Children's Fund booth at the Chicago Convention will be used for support of Haitian children and families who have come to the United States for basic needs such as clothing, eyeglasses, etc. One hundred percent of all donations will go directly to the recovery effort, both in Haiti and the United States. The Board of Directors of the Children's Fund has allocated $1000 to be used to match contributions as they are received.
Credit card donations can be made online. Donations by check can be made out to the NASP Children's Fund, marked "Haiti Fund," and mailed to: Judy Martin, NASP Children's Fund Treasurer, 9000 226th Court, Villa 14-A, Salem, WI 53168. Thank you for caring.
Protective factors can include maintaining a sense of normalcy, focusing on people’s resilience and the outpouring of help from around the world, and taking action to help. For those who would like to contribute to relief efforts, the U.S. State Department has an extensive list of organizations working in Haiti.
Please check back here over the next few days as we will update and add to these resources.
Information on the crisis in Haiti from the National Association of School Psychologists may be adapted and distributed by school districts to meet the needs of their school community as long as the integrity of the content is not altered. NASP must be credited as the original source of th information (Adapted from....) PDF handouts may be posted and distributed without receiving specific permission as long as they are reprinted or posted to websites verbatim, credit NASP, and include links to the NASP website.