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Responding to the Boston Marathon Tragedy

Boston Skyline

Image courtesy of Arvind Balardman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In light of the horrific events that occurred at the Boston Marathon, we want to express that our thoughts and prayers are with all that have been affected.

Our company is headquartered just a few minutes outside of Boston, Massachusetts. As we mourn for those families and friends whose lives will never be the same, we are also awed by the tremendous stories of courage and kindness that have been displayed by people around this tragedy.

But for many companies around this area, today and the days that follow will present many challenging moments.

There is no doubt that the images, videos, sounds, and stories are having a deep impact on all that have seen or heard him. While people do react differently to these types of tragedies, below are a few ways that employers may be able to best assist their employees.

Encourage Use of the Employee Assistance Program

Take the time to remind and encourage employees to utilize your company’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Provide content that highlights the services that the EAP can provide, which includes professional counselors that can help the individual and their families. Also, provide the necessary contact information including phone numbers and website URLs to make it easy for your workers to contact the EAP.

Be Available to Lend a Listening Ear

For many companies, their daily business responsibilities must still be completed.

However, it’s important for Human Resources professionals and other management staff to be alert and available for any employees that may need assistance.

We often can get so caught up in the tasks and deadlines that must be completed; however, especially at a time like this, we must ensure that we remember how important it is to provide comfort and kindness to others.

Enable Parents to Help Their Children

With these horrific events occurring during a high-profile, family-oriented event on a holiday in Massachusetts, many families have had to respond to what their children may have seen.

  • The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has provided a resource to help guide parents during these typical times. This PDF, entitled “Tips for Parents on Media Coverage”, provides a number of ideas to help families through these difficult times.
  • Boston Children’s Hospital has shared a number of other great tips for parents in an article entitled “Talking to children after tragedy“.


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