Newswise — Educational resources available from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress, or CSTS, of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, or USU, at, may be helpful in communities where tragedy and violence have shaken a normally quiet atmosphere. Among the available resources are fact sheets entitled Psychological First Aid: Helping Victims in the Immediate Aftermath of Disaster and The Impact of Kidnapping, Shooting and Torture on Children.

Recent nationally publicized incidents have the potential to impact children and adults, not just those directly touched by the tragedies, but also those who have followed the stories in the media. The CSTS website has fact sheets and resources available for individuals who are seeking their own information and also for teachers who want to assist their students cope when bad things happen.

"Communities faced with violence and tragedy oftentimes pull together to deal with the pain and begin to heal. In doing so, they face a wide range of individual emotions and reactions." said Dr. Robert Gifford, executive officer for CSTS. "People have a great capacity for resilience, but some may benefit from professional help. We hope that the CSTS resources will be helpful to people coping with the aftermath of trauma and those who are assisting others, including people trying to explain events to children."

Courage to Care is an ongoing health communication initiative of USU and CSTS, which is part of the USU Department of Psychiatry and a partnering center of the Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury. Courage to Care disseminates timely and important issues to enhance and sustain the well-being of our military community. Courage to Care fact sheets are in the public domain and are available for reposting on outside organization's websites and for redistribution. Each installment includes a fact sheet for healthcare professionals and a fact sheet for families and patients. Courage to Care can be distributed in office waiting areas, or on an organization's website.

Located on the grounds of Bethesda's National Naval Medical Center and across from the National Institutes of Health, USU is the nation's federal school of medicine and graduate school of nursing. The university educates health care professionals dedicated to career service in the Department of Defense and the U.S. Public Health Service. Medical students are active-duty uniformed officers in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Public Health Service, who are being educated to deal with wartime casualties, natural disasters, emerging infectious diseases, and other public health emergencies. Of the university's more than 4,200 physician alumni, the vast majority serve on active duty and are supporting operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, offering their leadership and expertise.

For more information, contact the Office of External Affairs at (301) 295-3981 or visit the USU Web site at: