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Sikh panel guides families in coping with shooting trauma

Sikh panel guides families in coping with shooting trauma

Washington: Sikh organisations have created a handy guide to help families cope with violence and disaster and Sikh parents to counsel children through the aftermath of the Winsconsin Gurdwara attack that left six worshippers dead.

"Helping Families Cope with Violence and Disaster" produced by United Sikhs lists all the important aspects related to helping individuals as well as gurdwaras, and overcome trauma resulting from natural and man-made disasters, it says.

"We hope that this guide will provide some much needed help as we join and assist the community in Wisconsin during this critical and sensitive time," United Sikhs director Jatinder Singh said.

The community organisation said its emergency response team of trained professionals was counselling and addressing individual concerns in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

It recommended that all community members and gurdwaras go through the self-training manual prepared in collaboration with top trauma specialists to help many still struggling in silence and to prepare the community in case such tragic events repeat themselves.

United Sikhs has also launched a national family resource centre called "UMEED" with a 24-hour toll-free helpline providing confidential and professional counselling to all members of the community. It can be reached at 1-855-US-UMEED (1-855-878-6333).

It also urged all to join "I Pledge Against Hate Crime" at and write a letter to US President Barack Obama and send it to the White House or to the nearest American Embassy.

Another Sikh organisation, the Sikh Coalition has collaborated with other national Sikh organisations to produce a one-page guide to help parents and teachers address the needs of Sikh children dealing with the shock and confusion of the Oak Creek tragedy.

"For children, the events can cause a range of emotions. The idea that Sikhs were killed in the Gurdwara could affect their sense of safety, cause confusion or leave them upset," the organisation said calling the guidelines a first step in how to engage children.


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