Mental health experts from the American Red Cross in Greater New York offer strategies to help parents to discuss the Tsunami disaster with their children and help manage their anxiety associated with this tragedy.

“We have all been affected by the overwhelming images of this tragedy,” said Lauren Ginsberg, LCSW, Director of Health and Mental Health Services at the American Red Cross in Greater New York (ARC/GNY). “But, some children may have difficulty in processing their feelings and will need adult guidance.”

The American Red Cross in Greater New York offers some of the following tips:

  • Limit or temporarily cease children’s exposure to the media. Young children can believe that events which are continuously re-broadcast are actually reoccurring.
  • Supervise their viewing, answer their questions honestly and in an age appropriate manner, and remind children that they have adults to care for them.
  • Help children feel a part of the relief efforts in an age appropriate manner by donating, volunteering, or participating in a fundraiser.
  • Encourage kids to make use of their support systems: talk with family, friends, neighbors, spiritual/religious community, and be comforted by the familiar — such as their pets and usual routines.
  • Help children to maintain proper sleep, exercise and nutrition habits. A sound body and a sound mind are inextricably linked.