In the wake of the mass shootings in Aurora, Colorado, it is important to be aware how news of violent actions can affect us and to notice if others around us may need additional support processing what happened. It is absolutely reasonable for bystanders whether or not we are trauma survivors to feel shocked, repulsed, empathetic, frightened, and even sickened by the reports of the shootings and killings even though most of us are at such a distance from the crimes. In fact, there is a wide range of emotional reactions that youth and adults may experience.
For those of us who are surviving traumas of our own experiences, the news stories, photographs, and first-hand reports of this violent crime may stir deeper mental, emotional, and physical reactions linked to our own memories. Some of us may need more than self care and peer support.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/, provides emotional help through a Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. ~ Mitru Ciarlante