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Children Coping With Tragedy

The Santa Barbara Unified School District has grief counselors available for both students and staff in the wake of Monday’s tragic stabbings near Goleta that claimed the lives of four members of the Holzer family, including two children.

District counselors share tips for parents and educators on how to identify severely traumatized children.

Experts say the closer a child is to the location of a crisis event, the greater the chance they too will feel personally threatened.

Sudden, major changes in a child’s behavior or personality are red flag warning signs that a child might need professional help.

“All kids and people grieve differently,” said Lauren Meier with the Santa Barbara Unified School District. “It’s listening for kids who are exceptionally preoccupied and having a hard time moving on.”

And it’s not just children; Parents, teachers, neighbors — any adult can also be severely emotionally impacted by these types of tragedies.

A special hotline number is available 24/7 through Safe Alternatives For Treating Youth (SAFETY) for people who need help, by calling (888) 334-2777.

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