Coping with Trauma Resources

Our hearts go out to the Highland Park community in the wake of the senseless violence that occurred on the 4th of July. We’re all impacted by tragedies in different ways, and the Library is here to help with the emotional aftermath. GPL has compiled a list of resources to help you during difficult times.


Resources for Kids

Reading Recommendations:

The Boy With Big, Big Feelings by Britney Winn Lee

My Monster and Me by Nadiya Hussain

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

What If, Pig? by Linzie Hunter

Recommendations on Hoopla:

Way Past Worried by Hallee Adelman

What to Do When You’re Scared & Worried by James J. Crist

Worries Are Not Forever by Elizabeth Verdick

Other Resources:

Sesame Street In Communities: Violence

Sesame Street in Communities: Troubling Times

Association for Library Services to Children Tough Topics Booklists

What to Say to Kids When the News is Scary


Coping with Grief and Trauma

Youth.gov: Resources for Helping Youth Cope after a Mass Shooting

United Way of Lake County

National Child Traumatic Stress Network

Rainbows For All Children, dedicated to providing support for all youth as they navigate grief and heal from loss

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: Highland Park Parade Shootings Resources to Support Community Recovery

National Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

Additional tips for coping with stress & anxiety: 

  • Be kind to yourself & acknowledge your feelings. It’s normal to feel worried or fearful after a traumatic event.  
  • Moderate your information intake. Stay informed but take breaks from excessive media coverage. 
  • Connect with others. Start conversations with friends, family members, faith leaders, or health care providers about how you are feeling. 
  • Take care of your physical health. Get plenty of sleep. Go for a walk or a bike ride. Practice meditation and mindfulness. 
  • Channel your anxiety into action. Organize a march. Perform acts of service for others. Donate your money or time. Reach out to local politicians to voice your concerns. 
  • Recognize signs of post-traumatic stress disorder like excessive irritability, anger, sleep disturbances or flashbacks. Reach out to a therapist or your primary care provider if you experience persistent symptoms after a traumatic event. 

Note: the above tips were collected from the CDC, Red Cross, and Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.


Reading recommendations for Coping with Grief and Trauma


Resources for Acts of Kindness, Service, Donations

Ideas for Places to Give: 

The Highland Park Community Foundation has established a July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund to help those directly impacted by the mass shooting in Highland Park. All contributions to the Response Fund will go directly to victims and survivors or the organizations that support them. Visit their website for more information and to donate.

Highland Park, IL Parade Shooting Victims Fund VictimsFirst launched this centralized victims fund on GoFundMe. 100% of what is collected will go directly to the families of the deceased and the injured of the mass shooting that took place at the 4th of July parade in Highland Park. 

Haven Youth & Family Services provides prevention, intervention, and counseling services to youth and families in the North Shore area. Visit their website for more information or click here to donate.  

Family Service Center is a not-for-profit mental health agency serving the communities of Wilmette, Glenview, Northbrook, and Kenilworth. Visit their website for information and donations.  

Ideas for Things to Do: 

The Volunteer Center works with nonprofit partner organizations to help individuals, families, and service groups in the New Trier Township, the North Shore and greater NE Metro Chicago area find volunteer opportunities. To search their list of volunteer opportunities, visit their website.

The Kindness is Everything website offers a variety of ideas to inspire acts of kindness toward strangers, friends, and yourself through lists available on their website.

The Vitalant Blood Donation Center in Glenview accepts blood donations seven days a week. For information and appointments, visit their website.


Reading recommendations for Kindness and Hope