Insight for Tough Questions and Situations

Below is list of different resources parents and staff members can use to guide conversations around mental health and student well-being. School counselors and the district’s student well-being coordinator, Chris Wilson, are also valuable resources available for use.

Resources for Parents

Growing Healthy Dragons blog (by Chris Wilson)
American Psychological Association: How to choose a psychologist When you need help from a trained, licensed professional to work through feelings or problems that seem beyond your control, these tips can help you choose a psychotherapist and address the financial questions related to therapy.
Talking to Children after a Suicide (PDF) 

Talking to a child about suicide is one of the hardest things you may ever do. It is normal to feel uncomfortable. Everyone feels unprepared, uneasy, and anxious telling children that someone has died from suicide. As loving people, we want to protect children from pain. Unfortunately, we cannot avoid talking about an event that will impact their life. As adults, we can be supportive in helping children to experience life naturally, and we can lead them in positive directions.

Talking to Children and Teens After a Shooting (PDF)


Talking to Children About Violence: Information for Parents and Educators (PDF)

High profile acts of violence, particularly in schools, can confuse and frighten children who may feel in danger or worry that their friends or loved ones are at risk. They will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children feel safe by establishing a sense of normalcy and security and talking with them about their fears.

Tips for Talking With and Helping Children and Youth Cope After a Disaster or Traumatic Event (PDF)

Children and youth can face emotional strains after a traumatic event. Young people react to trauma differently than adults. Some may react right away; others may show signs that they are having a difficult time much later. As such, adults do not always know when a child needs help coping. This tip sheet will help parents, caregivers, and teachers learn some common reactions, respond in a helpful way, and know when to seek support.

Grief and Loss Tips – Supporting Children through Grief (PDF)

Children grieve differently than adults. While children share the same grief emotions as adults, they often express them differently. Children at each age grieve differently from other ages. This document outlines how children in different age ranges view death as well as guidance on providing support.

Understanding Depression, Preventing Suicide, Regaining Perspective by Jeff Kerber, Ph.D. (PDF)


Understanding & Preventing Youth Suicide by Jeff Kerber, Ph.D. (PDF)



Resources for Staff:

Tips for Staff in Response to Crisis Situations (PDF)

The Johnston Community School District contracts with Employee & Family Resources (EFR) for employee and student assistance. EFR provides master’s level therapists to help individuals manage a variety of issues so they and their families can be healthy and successful. SAP/EAP services are tailored to the needs of each individual and their family.

View the SAP brochure

View EAP brochure

Download the EFR mobile app

Chris Wilson staff photo
Director of SEBMH (Social-Emotional, Behavior, Mental Health)
District Office