Monarch mental health expert shares ways to handle tragedy

“There are many different responses to crisis. Many people experience intense feelings after a disaster, but can 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 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.  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 the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) helpline at (800) 985-5990 or 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, medication management and other related-support services in Anson, Bladen, Columbus, Cabarrus, Davidson, Guilford, Harnett, Lee, Mecklenburg, Moore, Richmond, Robeson, Rowan, Scotland, Stanly and Union counties. The organization provides crisis assessment services in Davidson, Guilford, Mecklenburg, Robeson and Stanly counties. 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 Healthhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov 
Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA)http://www.samhsa.gov/
American Psychological Association (APA)http://www.apa.org/

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