Monarch mental health expert shares how to cope with tragedy, restore normalcy

Brown 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.
• Turn off the TV.  Today’s media coverage of tragic events like this 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 feel overwhelmed by your feelings, contact Monarch at (866) 272-7826 or email referral@monarchnc.org. You might also contact the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at  (800) 985-5990. You should also go see a local mental health professional.

Monarch, a statewide organization that serves thousands of people with mental illness, substance abuse disorders and intellectual and developmental disabilities, offers a variety of behavioral health services, psychiatric assessments, and other related-support services across North Carolina.

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

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) –http://www.nami.org/
National Institute of Mental Health – http://www.nimh.nih.gov  
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) – http://www.samhsa.gov/
Mental Health First AId – www.mentalhealthfirstaid.org.

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Media contact: Natasha A. Suber,  (704) 986-1582  or natasha.suber@monarchnc.org.