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Taking Care of Yourself and Others Following a Tragic or Traumatic Event

November 6, 2017

In the aftermath of a tragedy or traumatic event, it’s normal to feel powerless, sad, anxious, frightened, angry, or any mix of these emotions-especially if the event was unexpected. We encourage people impacted by disasters or communal tragedies to reach out to family, friends or counselors to express your feelings and explore effective and healthy ways to cope with your emotions.

After a traumatic event that impacts a community or group it is important to look out for each other – be particularly aware of signs that indicate you or someone you know may be feeling hopeless including:

  • Withdrawing or isolating oneself
  • Sleeping all the time or not enough
  • Using drugs or alcohol more than usual
  • Talking about death or dying

If you or someone you know is experiencing signs of distress, please reach out to a mental health professional or get anonymous, 24/7, free support: text 741-741 or call 1-800-723-TALK (8255).

At a time like this, simple things can help. Try to:

  • Stay open – talk to friends, family and loved ones about your feelings
  • Stay present – take breaks from social media and the news
  • Stay active and healthy – take a walk, go to the gym, run errands and make sure to get enough sleep and proper nutrition
  • Stay connected and positive – spend time in person with family and friends volunteer for a cause that’s important to you. Taking action to help others can help you to feel better, too!

Please take care of yourself and those around you – physical health and emotional connectedness can go a long way toward making you feel like yourself again.

Learn more about emotional health and how to help yourself, a friend or family member:

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