Human resources

MMSD provides mental health resources and support to families after Texas shooting

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – Madison schools are trying to provide as much support as possible to students and their families following the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

Madison-area students headed to school Wednesday morning as a flood of information filled social media throughout the day, offering updates on the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Madison Metropolitan School District executive director of student and staff support Leia Esser said there are resources throughout the district to help take care of student mental health, but she said that c was just as important for the parents.

“It’s just as scary or scarier for people who send their kids to school every day,” Esser said.

Esser said there are resources in the form of social workers or counselors at every Madison Metropolitan School District school in the district.

“But at the end of the day, we have to address issues at face value, our children have access to a lot of information and it is our obligation to engage in dialogue and engage them in opportunities for support,” said Try.

She also said there are materials on the district’s website with suggestions for parents and staff on how to deal with mental health following a tragic event.

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“We want to keep routines and structures as normal as possible, kids need predictability, they need routine, they need to be in school with their peers,” Esser said.

She added that the amount of exposure on social media means the best thing to do is encourage intentional conversations about mental health.

When it comes to talking about these tragedies, Dr. Jenny Walczak of Children’s Wisconsin said it’s important to first hear what a child already knows and keep it simple.

“We’re not going to want to give them more information than they need, because that can be upsetting and scary in itself. So you want to be honest with your child, but also keep it simple in terms of the information you provide,” Dr. Walczak said.

Dr. Walczak also said it’s important to validate children’s feelings if they’re scared and not push them to do something they’re not comfortable doing.

Madison schools are trying to provide as much support as possible to students and their families after the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school.

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