Red Cross Offers Resources to Help Children and Adults Cope with Tragedy

    OTTAWA, April 19 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Red Cross reminds parents
and educators that the tragedy of Virginia Tech may increase stress and fear
in young people trying to comprehend this act of extreme violence in a
learning environment.
    "After such brutal and tragic events occur, children and adults are left
saddened, horrified and in some cases frightened," said Don Shropshire,
national director of disaster management for the Canadian Red Cross. "Open
communication at a time like this is crucial, but it can also be very
difficult to find the right words and forum."
    Facing Fear, a program designed for people aged five to 16, offers
teaching tools designed by education specialists and psychologists to help
address issues in the aftermath of tragic events. In addition to discussion on
how to manage feelings, the program aims to demystify events covered by the
media, as well as discussions that may be overheard at school or at home. The
program also promotes awareness of values such as tolerance and respect.
    Adapted from a program designed by the American Red Cross following the
tragic events of September 11, 2001, and recommended by l'Ordre des
psychologues du Québec and the Canadian Psychological Association, Facing Fear
was developed following a request from Canadian teachers. More than
300,000 students across Canada have already benefited from these resources
    RespectED, a second program available through the Canadian Red Cross,
addresses issues that lead to youth alienation including abuse and neglect,
peer harassment and bullying and relationship violence. Youth participants
learn skills that help them develop healthy relationships.

    Since 1984, Red Cross educational programs Facing Fear and Expect the
Unexpected, which are free to download, have reached over 2 million Canadians.

    Canadian Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red
Crescent Movement, which includes the International Federation of Red Cross
and Red Crescent Societies, the International Committee of the Red Cross and
185 national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. Our mission is to improve
the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada
and around the world.

For further information:

For further information: Or to arrange interviews: Canadian Red Cross,
National Office Media Line, (613) 740-1994

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