Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Boston Marathon: How to Handle Traumatic Stress Part II

In my random travels today, I came across this list of various resources from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, for those of you not in the DC area and not used to acronym after acronym).

Tips on How to Cope with Violent and Traumatic Events

Did you notice the shift in the news over the weekend? Especially after Friday? I did.

Did you notice there was less about the lives lost and the lives permanently changed? Why are they not in the focus anymore?

What about people who have witnessed things that no one, no one, should ever have to witness?

Why are we not talking about depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health issues? Because let's face it. There is a mental health side to violent and traumatic events. There are thousands of people, if not more, who directly or vicariously experienced trauma. Most people will be fine, but some people will not. To some extent, anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, and other emotions are normal reactions to abnormal events. There is a point, and this is a tricky point to identify, where emotions can start interfering with daily life. Let me reiterate that there is nothing wrong with needing extra help.

Why are we not talking about resilience, self-care, and coping skills?

Because we should be. Go back here for some tips on the road to resilience.

For helpers and healers, to challenge the present and embrace the future. That was from a church service several years ago. It is just as appropriate now.

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