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