TxOHC Blog

Resources for Mass Shooting

TAPCHW LogoAshley Rodriguez, CCHW, CCHWI, President of the Board of Directors, Texas Association of Promotores & Community Health Workers (TAPCHW)

Posted May 25, 2022

Our many thanks to Ashley Rodriguez with the Texas Association of Promotores & Community Health Workers (TAPCHW) for putting together these resources and information and allowing us to share.

We want to provide a few resources for anyone affected by the recent shootings in Uvalde, Texas. Events like this not only affect the local community but also the state and the nation as a whole. We mourn with everyone in this tragedy. 

Please see the tips for parents and professionals for “restoring a sense of safety in the aftermath of a mass shooting” from the Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress.

The following tips are from the American Counseling Association:

  • Attend to self-care. While it may seem counterintuitive to think about taking care of yourself first, you cannot be of service to others if you are unstable. Monitor all of your physical health needs – being sure to eat, sleep, exercise, and (if possible) maintain a normal daily routine.
  • Pay attention to your emotional health. Remember that a wide range of feelings during these difficult times are common. Know that others are also experiencing emotional reactions and may need your time and patience to put their feelings and thoughts in order.
  • Try to recognize when you or those around you may need extra support.It is not uncommon for individuals of all ages to experience stress reactions when exposed (even through media) to shootings or mass violence. Changes in eating and sleeping habits, energy level, and mood are important signs of distress. Watch for regressed behaviors, such as clinging in children and intense emotional reactions, such as anxiety or a strong need for retribution in adults. When necessary, point individuals to licensed professional counselors who can provide needed support.
  • Avoid overexposure to media. While it is important to stay informed, media portrayals of shootings and mass deaths have been shown to cause acute stress and posttraumatic stress symptoms. Limit your exposure and take a break from news sources.
  • Maintain contact with friends and family. These individuals can provide you with emotional support to help deal with difficult times.
  • Focus on your strength base. Maintain practices that you have found to provide emotional relief. Remind yourself of people and events which are meaningful and comforting.
  • Talk to others as needed. It is important to ask for help if you are having trouble recovering and everyday tasks seem difficult to manage.

To guide discussions about the shooting, Mental Health America of Greater Dallas offers the following suggestions for parents as they communicate with young people in Texas: 

  • Talk honestly about the incident, without graphic detail, and share some of your own feelings about it.
  • Encourage young people to talk about their concerns and express their feelings, and validate the young person’s feelings and concerns.
  • Limit television viewing. It can be difficult to process the images and messages in news reports.
  • Recognize what may be behind a young person’s behavior. They may minimize their concerns outwardly, but may become argumentative, withdrawn, or allow their school performance to decline.
  • Keep the dialogue going even after media coverage subsides. Continue to talk about feelings and discuss actions being taken to make schools and communities safer.
  • Seek help when necessary. If you are worried about a young person’s reaction or have ongoing concerns about his/her behavior or emotions, contact a mental health professional at their school or at your community mental health center. Your local Mental Health America Affiliate can direct you to resources in your community.

Additional resources are available at the following sites:

Mental Health Texas https://mentalhealthtx.org/

Mental health America https://mhanational.org/

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress www.cstsonline.org 

National Child Traumatic Stress Network www.nctsn.org 

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry www.aacap.org

American Academy of Pediatrics www.aap.org 

American Psychiatric Association www.psychiatry.org/ 

American Psychological Association www.apa.org

American Red Cross www.redcross.org


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