John I. Takayama, MD, MPH, FAAP

“Ask how they are doing and remind them that you are thinking of them!” Dr. David Schonfeld, Director of the National Center for School Crisis and Bereavement, gently suggested to a concerned pediatrician during his insightful talk at Kaiser Santa Rosa on January 9, 2018. Dr. Schonfeld had traveled from Pasadena to train teachers at schools in Santa Rosa in the aftermath of the wildfires that destroyed nearly 250,000 acres, killing at least 44 people and hospitalizing 185 in Northern California.

Dr. Schonfeld provided simple but powerful recommendations and suggested a list of references during his presentation and discussion. When asked about what to say and what not to say, Dr. Schonfeld urged responders to “ask, listen, and don’t judge (don’t bring up your own past experience, don’t start a sentence with ‘at least….’).” Check out two great resources below.