Mental Health Resources to Cope with Community Unrest

The following are resources for behavioral health preparedness, response, and recovery.

Many are Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) materials focused on general mental health and substance use-related needs after an incident of violence and civil unrest, as well as separate sections with resources for faith-based communities and spiritual leaders; children, youth, parents and other caregivers, and schools; and disaster responders.

General Disaster Response and Recovery Information
  • Coping With Grief After Community Violence

    This tip sheet introduces some of the signs of grief and anger after an incident of community violence, provides useful information about to how to cope with grief, and offers tips for helping children deal with grief.
  • Tips for Survivors of a Disaster or Other Traumatic Event: Managing Stress

    This tip sheet gives stress prevention and management tips for dealing with the effects of trauma, mass violence, or terrorism. It lists tips to relieve stress, describes how to know when to seek professional help, and provides accompanying resources. This tip sheet is also available in Spanish. 
  • Coping with a Disaster or Traumatic Event

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website emphasizes the importance of coping after a disaster, and getting professional help if needed, with reactions that may be difficult and intense. Links are provided to additional information about managing your emotional health as a survivor, supporting your children in coping, and making time for self-care as a disaster responder. This document is also available in Spanish.
  • Mass Violence/Community Violence  This SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) installment is a collection of resources about common reactions to incidents of mass violence, community violence, and terrorism; tips for coping with such incidents; and ways to support children and youth in coping.
  • The Impact of Disaster and Mass Violence Events on Mental Health    The Impact of Disaster and Mass Violence Events on Mental Health— This online article from the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes common reactions that disaster survivors may experience. While most reactions lessen over time, some may turn into long-term and severe responses, such as PTSD.

Resources for Faith-based Communities and Spiritual Leaders
  • Faith-based Communities and Spiritual Leaders This SAMHSA DBHIS collection contains resources to help communities of faith and spiritual leaders to support survivors of natural and human-caused disasters. It features faith-based organizations involved in disaster response, resources that highlight the role faith leaders can play in helping communities recover after disasters, and information about working with children and other special populations after disasters.
Resources for Children, Youth, Parents and Other Caregivers, and Schools
  • Understanding Child Trauma

    This web page identifies events that children and youth may experience as traumatic, presents statistics on traumatic experiences and their effects on children and youth, lists signs of traumatic stress in children and youth of various ages, and offers tips for parents and other important adults in the lives of children and youth for helping children and youth to cope with trauma. Links to resources for more information and support are also provided.
  • Age-related Reactions to a Traumatic Event

    This tip sheet provides an overview of how children and adolescents may react to natural and human-caused disasters that they experience as traumatic. It describes reactions typical within specific age ranges and offers tips for parents and other caregivers, school personnel, healthcare practitioners, and community members to help children and adolescents cope.
  • Community Violence: Reactions and Actions in Dangerous Times

    This resource provides information on community violence, how it can affect daily lives, and what to do for support.
  • Helping Youth After Community Trauma: Tips for Educators

    This tip sheet identifies 10 ways in which youth may react to community traumas such as natural or human-caused disasters and suggests ways for educators to respond to these reactions and support youth in coping. It also advises educators to find professional mental health support for youth—and for themselves—as needed. 
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Position Statement—Racial Injustice and Trauma: African Americans in the U.S                                     In this position statement, the NCTSN highlights the legacy of slavery, including persisting racial injustices, on African Americans in the United States. The statement speaks out for the importance of acknowledging the trauma that African Americans have experienced and continue to experience and commits to several steps to heighten awareness of the impact of trauma and racism on African American children and families and support improvement of care by child trauma professionals.
  • Resilience and Coping Intervention (RCI)                  This intervention can be used to help children and adolescents cope with disasters and other forms of community trauma. RCI is designed for groups of 5 to 10 people and can be delivered in one or several sessions. RCI groups can be implemented in programs based in schools, faith-based organizations, or clinical settings and led by teachers, counselors, or other professionals who have been trained in the intervention.
Diversity Resources

University of Missouri-St. Louis, Missouri Institute of Mental Health

From the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)


Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM)

Prevention Institute


National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Health Equity Works

Missouri Wellness: Cultural Competency

Resources for Disaster Responders

Psychological First Aid for First Responders: Tips for Emergency and Disaster Response Workers

This tip sheet provides first responders with information on how to address people for the first time after a disaster and how to calmly communicate and promote safety.

Tips for Disaster Responders: Preventing and Managing Stress

This tip sheet helps disaster response workers prevent and manage stress. It includes strategies to help responders prepare for their assignment, use stress-reducing precautions during the assignment, and manage stress in the recovery phase of the assignment. This tip sheet is also available in Spanish.

Tips for Disaster Responders: Understanding Compassion Fatigue

This tip sheet defines and describes compassion fatigue, burnout, and secondary traumatic stress. It lists signs of compassion fatigue and offers tips for preventing compassion fatigue and coping with it if it occurs, and it notes that responders may also experience positive effects as a result of their work. This tip sheet is also available in Spanish. 

Traumatic Incident Stress: Information for Emergency Response Workers

This CDC fact sheet outlines symptoms of traumatic incident stress and lists activities emergency response workers can do on site and at home to cope with the challenging aspects of disaster response.

Additional Resources

Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

If you or someone you know is in a mental health, suicide, or substance use crisis, help is available.

Reach out to the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by calling or texting 988, or chatting at

MO DMH Trauma Informed Care