The recent deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has shaken the Parkland, Florida community and made parents across the country concerned for the safety and well-being of their young students. While local law enforcement professionals and state authorities work to quickly piece together what led to the attack, we recognize that shootings in the places where we live and learn can make it difficult for younger family members to feel secure away from home and for parents to know what else they can do to prepare children for the threat of violence.
In response to this terrible attack, we offer a special News Alert on Claremont Personal Advantage (you will need to be registered on the site by creating your own username and password): https://claremonteap.personaladvantage.com/subject.jsp?module=section_020&subtopic=10004431
We hope the resources in this section will help to provide some comfort to those who are distressed by the outcome of this violent act and help you find ways to address what has happened with younger family members, who may fear for their safety while away from home.
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Claremont is Here to Help
Claremont EAP is an important resource during difficult times. You and your family members in the immediate household can receive free and confidential counseling sessions for issues such as depression, anxiety, stress and grief. Call Claremont EAP at 800-834-3773 for a referral for counseling.
The effect of a traumatic event goes far beyond its immediate devastation. It takes time to grieve and rebuild our lives. Life may not return to normal for months, or even years, following a disaster or traumatic event. There may be changes in living conditions that cause changes in day-to-day activities, leading to strains in relationships, changes in expectations, and shifts in responsibilities. These disruptions in relationships, roles, and routines can make life unfamiliar or unpredictable.
Guidelines to Build Resilience When Experiencing Trauma
- No one who experiences a traumatic event is untouched by it.
- It is normal to feel anxious about the safety of you and your family.
- Profound sadness, grief, and anger are normal reactions to an abnormal event.
- Acknowledging our feelings helps us recover.
- Focusing on your strengths and abilities will help you to heal.
- We each have different needs and different ways of coping.
- It is common to want to strike back at people who have caused great pain. However, nothing good is accomplished by hateful language or actions.
Signs that Stress Management Assistance Is Needed
- Disorientation or confusion and difficulty communicating thoughts.
- Limited attention span and difficulty concentrating.
- Becoming easily frustrated.
- Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt.
- Depression, sadness, and feelings of hopelessness.
- Mood swings and crying easily.
- Difficulty maintaining balance.
- Headaches/stomach problems.
- Tunnel vision/muffled hearing.
- Colds or flu-like symptoms.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Poor work performance.
- Reluctance to leave home.
- Fear of crowds, strangers, or being alone.
- Increased use of drugs/alcohol.
Ways to Ease the Stress
- Talk with someone about your feelings (anger, sorrow, and other emotions) even though it may be difficult.
- Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional healing by staying active in your daily life patterns or by adjusting them. A healthy approach to life (e.g., healthy eating, rest, exercise, relaxation, meditation) will help both you and your family.
- Spend time with family and friends.
- Participate in memorials, rituals, and the use of symbols as a way to express feelings.
- Use existing supports groups of family, friends, and spiritual/religious outlets.
- Establish a family emergency plan. It can be comforting to know that there is something you can do.
If you or a member of your family still has trouble coping, ask for help. Call Claremont EAP at 800-834-3773 to access your free and confidential services.