Coping with Mass Violence: Monarch mental health expert shares ways to cope

“There are many different responses to crisis. Many people experience intense feelings after a disaster, but d brown2can recover. While others encounter some obstacles on the road to recovery,” Brown said. “The most effective way for anyone to effectively overcome these kinds of challenges is to seek the help and support necessary to cope and get well.”

Brown (pictured right) offers the following suggestions to help adults, parents and children to appropriately explore ways to manage, maintain and restore normalcy following a catastrophe or personal trauma.

• How you’re feeling, it’s natural. Realize that any anxiety, sadness, anger, or distress you are feeling, no matter how many miles between you and any tragedy, is a natural reaction to a tragedy of this kind and magnitude.
• Shut off the TV.  Media coverage of tragic events can in and of itself cause strong emotional reactions for both children and adults.
• Encourage the conversation. A certain amount of processing of events like this is healthy for adults, teens, and even children.  Let the conversation happen.
• Get your mind off it.  Distraction is one of the best coping methods. Go exercise, see a movie or sporting event, or play a board game.
• Spend time with loved ones.  Some of our greatest assets are our family and friends.  If you are feeling down or troubled, spend some time with someone you love.
• Lean on your faith.  Many people find strength in a higher power during times of national tragedy.  
• Connect with a professional.  If you are overwhelmed by your feelings, contact Monarch at (866) 272-7826 to schedule an appointment with a local mental health professional or call the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at (800) 985-5990.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Monarch’s referral line at (866) 272-7826, email referral@monarchnc.org or visit www.monarchnc.org.

The following organizations offer additional important resources that can help people to cope and overcome crisis:

National Institute of Mental Health – http://www.nimh.nih.gov
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) – http://www.samhsa.gov/  or http://www.disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/ 
American Psychological Association (APA) – http://www.apa.org/
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To schedule an interview with a Monarch expert, please call (704) 986-1582 or email pr@monarchnc.org