Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mental Health Association: Guidelines and Resources to Help in Responding to Impact of Event

The Mental Health Association Greensboro joins Americans in mourning the loss of those killed in the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims.
We understand events like this will impact so many families and communities in our nation. Parents may be facing difficulty knowing how best to discuss these events with their children. Many people may at be experiencing increased feelings of fear and anxiety.

Mental Health America has issued guidelines to help Americans respond and cope with tragic events, which can be found at www.mentalhealthamerica.net/go/information/get-info/coping-with-disaster.

To guide discussions about the shooting, MHA offers the following suggestions for parents as they communicate with young people in the area and across the nation:

Talk honestly about the incident, without graphic detail, and share some of your own feelings about it.
Encourage young people to talk about their concerns and to express their feelings, and validate the young person's feelings and concerns.

Limit television viewing. It can be difficult to process the images and messages in news reports.
Recognize what may be behind a young person's behavior. They may minimize their concerns outwardly, but may become argumentative, withdrawn or allow their school performance to decline.

Keep the dialogue going even after media coverage subsides. Continue to talk about feelings and discuss actions being taken to make schools and communities safer.

Seek help when necessary. If you are worried about a young person's reaction or have ongoing concerns about his/her behavior or emotions, contact a mental health professional at their school or at your community mental health center.

Your local Mental Health America Affiliate (Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas, Inc.) can direct you to resources in your community.

Mental Health America's website has a number of additional resources on its website to help provide support and perspective to those directly affected by the tragedy and the nation as a whole. 

Please click here to download  Finding Resources to Help Children and Families "Deal"

The Mental Health Association in Greensboro is in its 73rd year of identifying and addressing mental health needs in Greensboro. The Association seeks to maximize the mental wellness of individuals, families, and our community through education, services, and collaboration with mental health professionals. We offer free services to the general public which include information and referral, Wellness Academy classes, support groups and one-on-one peer support services.

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