Schools and natural disaster recovery: the unique and vital role that teachers and education professionals play in ensuring the mental health of students following natural disasters

Le Brocque, Robyn and De Young, Alexandra and Montague, Gillian and Pocock, Steven and March, Sonja and Triggell, Nikki and Rabaa, Claire and Kenardy, Justin (2016) Schools and natural disaster recovery: the unique and vital role that teachers and education professionals play in ensuring the mental health of students following natural disasters. Journal of Psychologists and Counsellors in Schools. pp. 1-23. ISSN 2055-6365

Abstract

There is growing evidence that children are vulnerable to poor psychological outcomes following exposure to a range of potentially traumatic events. Teachers are in a unique and well-placed position to provide vital support to children following potentially traumatic events and to also provide a vital role in helping to identify children who may be experiencing ongoing psychosocial difficulties. We present a review of mental health trauma resources available for use in educational settings within Australia and New Zealand, with a primary focus on post-disaster resources. We describe the design, development, and dissemination of our resources and training package, Childhood Trauma Reactions: A Guide for Educators from Preschool to Year 12, and present data on how these resources were received. Trauma-informed practices within the school and classroom will enable better outcomes in the immediate post-trauma environment and beyond for all children. Our model focuses on: (1) increasing awareness and understanding of children’s post-trauma reactions, (2) exploring effective strategies for teachers within the classroom, and (3) developing policy and procedures for the identification and referral of children who may be at risk.
More funding is required to help distribute training and resources and to make mental health following trauma a higher priority.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted Version deposited in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2017 01:48
Last Modified: 07 Nov 2017 07:21
Uncontrolled Keywords: child, psychological recovery, school
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111714 Mental Health
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920410 Mental Health
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1017/jgc.2016.17
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/28517

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