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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Stone, LMHC

Coping with a Mass Shooting

Mass shootings are difficult to cope with for a variety of reasons. We may be directly impacted through being related to or knowing victims or their families; being first responders; having familiarity or connection with the location in which it took place; having empathy or sympathy for the victims and survivors; and/or witnessing the event whether in-person or via the media. Beyond that, we can feel like helpless bystanders with following the media coverage, and we may feel distressed by the politics surrounding these tragedies.

It is important to care for yourself and your emotions, provide support to others if or when you can, and to focus feelings of helplessness in to ways that you can feel productive even if it's the most mundane tasks. More information on managing your distress in the aftermath of a shooting is available from the American Psychological Association.

Even if it's hard to see in the moment, there is hope through all of this. Mr. Fred Rogers had some amazing insight in times of disaster:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, 'Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.'” You, too, can "look for the helpers." Good people are out there, even if it sometimes doesn't feel that way. Take care of yourselves and love one another.

Want to talk about it? Schedule a counseling appointment:

Having difficult thoughts or experiencing a crisis? Call 1-800-273-8255 or text "begin" to 741741 to chat with sometime immediately. For life threatening emergencies, call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.


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