Our community is saddened by the tragic school shooting in south Florida yesterday. As you know, our own community experienced such a tragedy nearly 19 years ago. For some, it seems like yesterday. Our hearts go out to the families and community in Florida as they begin the process of healing.
When an event such as this happens, we are often drawn to the nonstop news coverage with graphic pictures splashed across our screens. Experts advise us to limit our viewing and access to news of the event. This is especially true for children and youth. The saturation of repeating the details of the events can be harmful and warp our normal perspective. The vivid images often have more of an effect than we realize and can even linger long after we turn them off. You can find more information about how to cope by visiting this page with more trauma related resources and articles, including Helping Children and Youth Through Difficult Times and When Upsetting Events Happen, Take Care of Yourself First.
You can make a difference by taking a Mental Health First Aid Class (MHFA) and/or spreading the word to others. Mental Health First Aid teaches the public identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. Jefferson Center for Mental Health is proud to offer these interactive 8-hour course free of charge to our community members. Sign up for a class today and learn how to best support a friend, family member, or co-worker going through a mental health or emotional crisis.
Jeanne Oliver is the VP, Marketing & Development, at Jefferson Center.