Managing your mental health amidst several tragedies and how to talk to your kids
Recent tragedies have triggered a lot of emotion for people, even those who aren’t directly impacted.
Mental health advocates are reminding people to take care of themselves during these times and seek out resources if you need them.
“Whether you were directly involved or distantly involved it’s still very difficult to take that in and process it,” said Chris Roup, the former executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Fresno.
She says people are likely feeling a wide range of emotions after several mass shootings this week in our state.
While she says it’s normal for people to feel sad, angry or helpless, it’s important to recognize that shift, and take care of yourself.
Roup says make sure you’re doing things that help take care of your own well-being like getting enough sleep, eating regularly, moving your body and engaging in activities that boost your mood like handing out with friends or participating in a hobby.
You can also filter what you’re watching on TV and seeing on social media.
“Maybe taking a break from the information coming in. And if you feel the need to continue to stay connected and see updates, just ensure those are from a credible source as well.” Roup said.
Children aren’t immune to the violence.
Roup says it’s important that parents engage their children in the conversation.
“Simply ask them are you aware of the news events? Has someone been talking about them at school or amongst your friend group,” said Roup.
From there, Roup suggests parents ask their child what they’re feeling and what they need.
That could include reassuring them of their own safety, removing them from future conversations or connecting them with additional resources.
Parents can reach out to their child’s school to see what mental health resources they have on campus including any student led mental health clubs or peer support counselors.
Anyone can reach out to NAMI Fresno for more information on resources. The phone number is (559) 224-2469.
“If you’re feeling multiple emotions all at the same time, it’s not usual. It’s ok. We can get through them. We just need to be aware and take some steps to process what we’re feeling.” Roup said.
If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, there is help available around the clock.
Call or text 988 for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.
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