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After the Tragedy: Ways to Help

In the wake of Friday’s school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, many organizations have set up ways you can help the families of victims and survivors. Many parents have spoken out about their own child with mental illness — some even expressing concern that their child needs help. If you are worried about a family member’s mental health, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics or the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry on what you can do to help. My Sandy Hook Family Fund sprang-up to help the families who had lost children and family members. Donations will help them meet immediate expenses, including funeral services, as well as ongoing living expenses such as food, mortgage payments, day care, insurance and fuel. The Newtown Memorial Fund has been set up to provide financial support to families for funeral services, to assist the town in creating a lasting memorial and to provide an annual scholarship to students of the Newtown Public Schools who will be going to college.Newtown Youth and Family Services provides counseling to community members, and all donations to the organization will go directly to those affected by the shooting.The United Way of Western Connecticut set up the Sandy Hook School Support Fund to support the families and community members. To donate, visit its website.The Red Cross is on the ground in Newtown, providing food, water and emotional support to families and first responders. The organization is also providing grief counseling to the community.All donations to the Newtown Parent Connection will go to those directly affected by the shooting. The organization is also providing support resources to the community, including trauma-support sessions.In honor of 6-year-old victim Emilie Parker, who was originally from Utah, the Emilie Parker Memorial Fund has been set up at America First Credit Union in Utah. For more information about how to donate, visit the fund’s Facebook page.Save the Children has set up a child-friendly space in the Newtown middle school where kids can play and express themselves while parents receive grief counseling and support. The organization also put out a list of tips on how to support your children through this tragedy.Willow Bay, journalist and author of the book “Talking to Your Kids in Tough Times: How to Answer Your Child’s Questions about the World We Live In,” shared tips on how to talk to your kids about the Connecticut shooting.

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