After a Mass Shooting – Caregiver Resources

Message from Dr. Gene Beresin, Executive Director:

Our kids are scared. They do not want to live in a world where they are afraid to go to school, or to the movies, concerts, supermarkets or the mall. We as parents and caregivers need to find the courage to have ongoing, open, and frequent conversations about what is going on in the world. A world that is increasingly perceived as dangerous in light of mass shootings, climate change, and racial, ethnic, gender, and LGBTQIA+ disparities. These emotionally difficult conversations are a delicate balance for caring adults in both offering security and reassurance to our young people, and helping them to make sense of why these tragic events are occurring and that there is a route for change.

Message from Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins, Associate Director, on Uvalde, TX and all school shootings:


Below, we share resources that may be helpful as you have conversations with the young people in your life. Please don’t worry alone. We are here to help, and together we can get through this.

We will continue to update this page with resources. If there is specific guidance that would be helpful to you or your community, please write to us.

MGH and Clay Center Resources

Immediate Concerns

How to Talk With Kids About Gun Violence

How can parents, educators, and other caring adults help our young people process acts of gun violence in this moment, when they already feel vulnerable? How do we make sense of it ourselves? Dr. Gretchen Fischer Felopulos of the MGH Center for Gun Violence Prevention, shares concrete tips and advice in this article and podcast episode.

How to Cope with the Trauma of Mass Shootings

A helpful listen from NPR. The news of hundreds of mass shootings each year can affect a person’s sense of safety. Family therapist Michael Davidovitz offers guidance on how to cope with the trauma of mass shootings. (30 Mar 2023)

Reflecting on the Recent Tragedy in Nashville

Our executive director reflects on what truly needs to change in our society in order to prevent mass shootings and provide a safer country for our children.

Trauma: What Parents Should Know

Trauma is an emotional and physical response to an event that is actually or perceived as threatening. Read more about the impact of traumatic events, and signs to look for in your child if you’re concerned.

This article is also available in the following languages:

Another Shooting – An Important Moment to Comfort and Talk With Our Kids

How do we respond to these horrifying incidents? Let’s look beyond our immediate gut reactions and take things step by step. Dr. Gene Beresin shares some basic tips for parents based on a child’s age.

Ongoing Concerns

Supporting Your Child in the Face of Trauma

This article shares some ways to support your child and help them build resilience if they have experienced trauma.

This article is also available in the following languages:

Preventing School Shootings: Playing the Mental Health Card is Off the Mark

The question we’re all desperately asking  is how to prevent future school shootings. Dr. Gene Beresin shares insight on why the focus of this issue should not be focused only on mental illness.

Emotionally Support Your Teen in Responding to Racism

Given coverage of racial tension, discrimination, and violence, your adolescent may feel upset, worried, or anxious. Needless to say, these are difficult conversations. And they should be ongoing. Here’s some guidance to consider from Dr. Khadijah Booth Watkins, no matter where you are in your journey.

Talking to Children About Asian Hate

Over the last year, there have been very disturbing reports and videos of hate and violence towards the Asian community. It can be natural to want to shield our children from these incidents, but we can also use these awful acts of violence and racism to increase awareness and open a dialog with our children. Dr. Betty Wang, adolescent and adult psychiatrist at MGH, shares guidance in this piece.

This article is also available in the following languages: