The bombings in Boston, the plant explosion in Texas and the severe weather hitting area communities have forced people to confront a wide range of traumatic and stressful events during the last week. Incidents like these require everyone—not just those on the ground in the affected areas but also those watching media outlets in other places—to pay attention to their mental health and to take steps to positively manage stress.
“This is a very upsetting time for Americans, and it’s important for everyone to pay attention to what they’re thinking and feeling and to take care of themselves,” said Becky Hauserman, American Red Cross of Northwest Ohio Disaster Mental Health volunteer. “It’s especially important to take care of the children around you and to reassure them of their safety.”
The American Red Cross has some simple steps everyone can take to help cope with the recent events:
Children are especially at risk since they may become afraid that a disaster could affect them, or that they or someone in their family may be harmed. It is important to comfort children and talk to them in a calm manner. Their view of the world as a safe and predictable place is temporarily lost during emergency situations. How a parent or other adult reacts around children following a disaster can determine how quickly and completely they recover.
People can find more information on recovering after a disaster or emergency on redcross.org.