For Immediate Release
September 7, 2006
Denise Espie, Director, Development and Communications, ext. 120, firstname.lastname@example.org
Erin Baker, Communication Manager, ext. 119, email@example.com
WASHINGTON, DC— The death of a celebrity can provoke sadness in some children. Television star Steve Irwin’s death has prompted the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry to offer “Talking With Children About the Death of a Public Figure.”
The guidelines, authored by child and adolescent psychiatrist, David Fassler, M.D., include ways for parents to explain a difficult but important subject. There are no right or wrong ways to talk with children about death. Among the AACAP’s suggestions:
- Create an open and supportive environment where children know they can ask questions. At the same time, it’s best not to force children to talk about things unless and until they’re ready.
- Give children honest answers and information. Children will usually know, or eventually find out, if you’re “making things up.” It may affect their ability to trust you or your reassurances in the future.
- Use words and concepts children can understand. Gear your explanations to the child’s age, language, and developmental level.
In addition to these guidelines, AACAP’s Facts for Families are an excellent starting point in having a dialogue about difficult subject matters. The free series includes;
# 8 Children and Grief
#4 The Depressed Child
#67 Children and the News
# 54 Children and Watching TV
Representing over 7,500 child and adolescent psychiatrists nationwide, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) is the leading authority on children’s mental health. AACAP members actively research, diagnose, and treat psychiatric disorders affecting children, adolescents, and their families.
Our Facts for Families, available free of charge on the AACAP website, provide concise and up-to-date information on a wide array of issues relating to children’s mental health. Written in a simple, straightforward manner, these 88 one-page fact sheets are valuable to anyone raising or working with children. In addition, the AACAP routinely refers the media to expert spokespeople on child and adolescent issues, and sponsors The Campaign for America’s Kids – an initiative designed to fund an Advocacy Institute for Child and Adolescent Mental Health, with the goal of mental health for all children.
AACAP Mission: The Mission of the AACAP is the promotion of mentally healthy children, adolescents and families through research, training, advocacy, prevention, comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, peer support and collaboration.