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Children's Wisconsin mental and behavioral health helpline Waukesha Christmas Parade

Children’s Wisconsin helpline can support parents as they navigate their child’s emotions


At Children’s Wisconsin, we know traumatic events not only cause physical injuries, but can leave emotional scars that are often harder to see or understand. That’s why after the tragic attack at the Waukesha Christmas Parade, we set up a Mental and Behavioral Health Helpline, (414) 266-6500, to assist parents with some of the feelings they and their children might be experiencing.

If your family are struggling with some of the following questions, Children’s Wisconsin experts are here to help:

  • “Our family was at the parade and my child experienced it. How do I know if she’s doing okay?”

  • “How do I talk to my child about death?”

  • "Our sense of safety in public has been threatened. How can I help my kids feel safe?”

  • “Why is our family so upset by this? We weren’t even there and don’t know anyone who was hurt.”

All of those questions and feelings are a normal response to a tragedy that struck so close to home. When something like this happens, it hits the entire community. Some are impacted more than others, but we are all feeling this grief together. Children’s Wisconsin established the helpline as a way to talk through these issues with parents. If additional help is needed, our therapists can refer you to more resources. And if one of our experts is not available, the call will be automatically forwarded to the state support line, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The injuries from Sunday go well beyond the physical and will take time to heal. We all must continue to lean on each other and encourage those impacted to reach out and use the resources available to them.

Call (414) 266-6500 to get help with your questions about your child’s and families response to this tragic event.  

Additional resources to support children

We've collected additional resources to help parents, caregivers and educators support children responding to trauma from The National Child Traumatic Stress Network and the Child Mind Institute.