Dealing with Trauma

Below are some suggestions and links for children AND adults on dealing with the trauma following the shooting in Pittsburgh:

Suggestions for Adults

  • Limit your exposure to media reports about the event (TV, computer, car radio).
  • Understand that fear and anxieties are normal reactions to an event like this.
  • Name and share your thoughts and emotions by talking with family, friends, colleagues, and clergy.  Write them down if you wish.  If you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of anxiety or depression, contact a hot-line or mental health professional.
  • Allow yourself to grieve for your ideal image of a safer world.
  • Be with people.  Don’t isolate yourself.
  • Stay away from alcohol and drugs.
  • Maintain the structure and activities of your daily life.  Try to eat and sleep as normally as possible.  Do something mundane if larger tasks seem daunting.
  • Remind yourself of the relative rarity of school shootings by calling upon your sense of reason.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as exercise, yoga, and meditation.
  • Consider that throughout history, people have risen to meet and surmount huge challenges, and be optimistic that this can happen in this time, with this challenge.
  • Take note of, and appreciate all the acts of kindness, compassion, and generosity that have followed this horrible event.
  • Take action in a way that reflects your interest, values, and abilities.


Compiled by Suzanne Adelman, LCSW-C, ACHP-SW, DCSW

Coordinator, JSSA Crisis Response Program

December 2012

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