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Resources to Help Hurricane-Affected Children

February 2, 2006

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    Photo: Dan Sadowsky/Mercy Corps Photo:

Comfort for Kids was first launched in September 2001 in New York City through a partnership of Mercy Corps, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, JPMorgan Chase and the Dougy Centre, the National Centre for Grieving Children and Families to support children affected by 9/11.

Comfort for Kids was relaunched in September 2005 by Mercy Corps, Bright Horizons Family Solutions and JPMorgan Chase to support hurricane-affected and displaced children in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, where it is being implemented in partnership with regional YWCAs and other local partner organisations.

Comfort for Kids has produced six creative, thoughtful publications that specifically address the needs of those affected by the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Target audiences for these materials include professionals and paraprofessionals working with children, parents, and younger and older children alike. They include hands-on activities and guided exercises to help affected children to better cope and heal.

These publications are free to download and use. Please right-click on the link and select "Save Target As" to download the file to your computer. Publications are in Adobe Acrobat format, which you can download freely at the Adobe website.

Helping Children and Teens Cope With Hurricane Season - Mercy Corps prepared this brochure for families living in the Gulf Coast area. In it, we share what parents have found useful to help children heal after a disaster.

What Happened to MY World? - This 120-booklet is the core resource in all Comfort for Kids trainings. This is for professionals, paraprofessionals and parents. Themes include normal and abnormal reactions to trauma by age group, pillars of security, natural disasters, issues of displacement and supporting those who have experienced a catastrophe in their lives.

What Happened to MY World? (Facilitator's Guide) - This guide provides step by step guidelines on how to lead training sessions and/or parents groups based on What Happened to MY World.

The Hurricane Aftermath: 10 Ways for Parents and Caregivers to Help Children - With a disaster like the hurricane, adults and children should expect all kinds of feelings: shock, confusion, sadness, grief, anger, loneliness and hopelessness. This 2-page pamphlet provides basic tips on beginning the healing and emotional recovery processes.

Mental Health Tips for Teachers Mainstreaming the Children of Katrina - This 2-page pamphlet written for Comfort for Kids by mental health clinicians from the Oregon Psychoanalytic Centre specifically for those who have taken on students displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

My Hurricane Story - This graphically pleasing 32-page workbook was developed to help elementary school children make sense of their experiences with Hurricane Katrina.

My Personal Story About Hurricanes Katrina and Rita - This workbook is built on years of experience strengthening the mental health of disaster victims. Its main purpose is to give psychological first aid to adolescents and teenagers displaced by the hurricanes.