Trauma - How To Talk To Your Kids About It

Trauma - How To Talk To Your Kids About It

Some resources, in a range of languages, about how to talk to kids about trauma. 

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Photo of sad boy hugging his mother and his teddy bear


How do I talk to my child after a traumatic event?

Some resources to help

Mental of Health NZ advice for coping after a traumatic event

The Ministry of Health and 1737 (the mental health line) developed 2 resources to help those in mental distress as a result of the traumatic event in Christchurch. These are in a range of languages.

The documents below are also available at the Ministry of Health's page Mental health advice for coping after a traumatic event.

Coping after a traumatic event

Watch 'Coping after a traumatic event' in New Zealand Sign Language.

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Supporting your kids after a traumatic event

Watch 'Supporting your kids after a traumatic event' in New Zealand Sign Language.

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Ministry of Health NZ advice for helping children

Children have their own ways of dealing with trauma according to their stage of development. Often their response is not what may be expected and may not show up for some time. Parents and others often worry and frequently are not sure of the best way to help them. Find out more about the common reactions of children who experience traumatic events or hear about them happening to their family or friends. Check the suggestions about ways of helping them. Read more ...

The Conversation - how to talk to children about terrorism

When a child has directly experienced extremely distressing events, or witnessed them through the news and social media, it is entirely normal for them to experience much higher levels of distress than usual. Read more ...

Save The Children's 10 tips for helping children cope with disaster

After a disaster, parents, teachers and caregivers look for advice on how to help children cope with the after-effects. These 10 tips from Save the Children's emergency response experts can ensure that children get the support they need - well after the disaster is over. Read more ...1737 logo

Need to talk? Free call or text 1737 any time in NZ

If over the following days and weeks following a traumatic event, distress or stress symptoms are increasing, or you feel you are not coping, seek help early. Professional support is important. Your family doctor is a good starting point, or for support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 - free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - to talk it through with a trained counsellor.

This page last reviewed 16 March 2019.

Call Healthline on 0800 611 116 any time of the day or night for free health advice when you need it