Red Cross Offers Steps to Help Cope After Military Shootings

Red Cross Desert to Sea Region Military Shooting
People may experience uncertainty and anxiety and it is okay to feel anxious...

Following three separate shooting incidents on military installations in the past week, the American Red Cross reminds members of the military and their loved ones that there are things they can do to help cope during these challenging times.

The two most recent incidents occurred at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina and near the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, Virginia, and followed the tragedy last week at Fort Hood in Texas.

Incidents like these can be very difficult for the entire community on and near military installations, both military and civilian. Although members of military communities are very resilient, some may find themselves facing a challenging time coping with these incidents. People may experience uncertainty and anxiety and it is okay to feel anxious, however there are steps people can take to help cope during this difficult time.

Here are a few things people can do to help cope with the situation:

  • Take care of themselves. Eat healthy, drink plenty of water and get enough rest.
  • Be patient with themselves and others. It’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
  • This is a time where people should take care of themselves and their families. For example, reach out to others to offer and receive support.
  • Parents should let children talk about their fears and then reassure them about their safety.
  • People should be careful not to overexpose themselves to media reports about the tragedy.
  • To reach out for free 24/7 counseling or support, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs’ to 66746.
  • WORKSHOPS AVAILABLE - With many members of the military being deployed overseas, some more than once; the Red Cross has workshops and courses available to help them and their families.

    The Coping with Deployments Course helps spouses, parents, siblings and significant others learn skill-building techniques that help them respond to the challenges of the deployment cycle. A pre-deployment preparedness tool reminds families about practical matters they need to plan for before the deployment such as how to get in touch with each other, finances, preparing for emergencies, legal matters and household information. You don't have to be immediate family to participate in this valuable skill building course.

    When someone returns from deployment, it can be a stressful time for the family. The Red Cross Reconnection Workshops support families during this time and can help ease the transition home. Workshop topics include Communicating Clearly; Exploring Stress and Trauma; Identifying Depression; Relating to Children and Working through Anger.

    To register for one or all of these workshops, you can email your name, city/state and which workshop(s) you are interested to reconnection@redcross.org.

    About the American Red Cross:

    The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.