Chesterton Tribune

Mental health tips for parents in wake of movie shootings

Back to Front Page





Mental Health America of Porter County offers parents some tips for talking with their children about tragedies, such as the recent shootings in Aurora, Colo.

According to the MHA, youth sense the anxiety and tension in adults around them. And, like adults, they experience the same feelings of helplessness and lack of control that tragedy-related stress can bring about. Unlike adults, however, youth have little experience to help them place their current situation into perspective.

Each young person responds differently to tragedy, depending on his or her understanding and maturity. MHA urges parents to encourage their children, regardless of their age, to talk with them about their feelings. MHA offers the following quick tips:

Youth need comforting and frequent reassurance that they’re safe.

Be honest and open about the tragedy or disaster.

Encourage expressions of feelings through talking, drawing or playing.

Try to maintain daily routines as much as possible.

For those who are worried about a young person’s reaction or who have ongoing concerns about his or her behavior or emotions, contact a mental health professional at school or community mental health center.

To obtain a brochure with more information to help parents or to learn about other MHA services, contact Director of Programs Christine Pirlot at 462-6267 or


Posted 7/30/2012