Mental health professionals share how to help children cope as Waukesha students return to class after parade tragedy
WAUKESHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Students in the Waukesha School District returned to classes on Monday, Nov. 29 for the first time since an SUV plowed through the Waukesha Holiday Parade killing six people and injuring more than 60 others, many of them students.
Dr. Wetterneck says a goal should be to assure children what happened does not happen often and that it is ok to think and talk about it. And he says even if you have a conversation in the first week or so, plan on having more conversations in the future. "Kids are really observant, so even if you don't ask them about their feelings, they're going to see whether or not you feel a certain way about this. And that's going to be one of their models for how they process this or don't process this."
A lot of the strategies focus on how to support others, but Dr. Wetterneck says people should also focus on self-care, like exercise, taking breaks from the updates and looking for a specialist if necessary.
"The School District of Waukesha has benefited from an outpouring of support from many communities," the letter said. "Our district leadership team will be monitoring the status of need by school and will reassess the need daily to ensure enough support is in place to get us through the days and weeks ahead. If you have any questions or have specific concerns about how your child is doing, please reach out to your school principal, your child’s teacher or the student services staff from your child’s school."