Psychology

Survivors of mass shootings receive mental health care, health expert says

MICHIGAN (WNEM) – Students are now trained from primary school on what to do in the event of a school shooting.

It is something they are taught at a young age as the number of mass shootings continues to rise across the country. But dealing with the aftermath of an attack, such as the shooting that took place Sunday night at the University of Virginia, is not taught.

“It can be very challenging to deal with the aftermath of something like a mass shooting. It really challenges everyone’s sense of security in places where we feel we should be safe,” said Jennifer McCarty, chief operating officer at Genesee Health System.

McCarty said mass shootings can negatively impact your mental health. In the recent Virginia shooting, students were trapped on campus for about 12 hours as police searched for the suspect accused of killing three people and wounding two others.

“There is a lot of support for mental health care. There is of course also the opportunity to talk to your natural props, and do things that make us feel good, take good care of ourselves. There are also crisis lines and crisis services for people who really need much more intensive support,” said McCarty.

McCarty said that just because you’re not directly affected by a mass shooting doesn’t mean you can’t feel its ripple effects.

“It brings up a lot of feelings, whether it’s feelings related to that event or feelings about things in their own lives that they may have experienced. And so whether you’re directly involved or not, maybe by watching it on the news, it’s always good to reach out for support when people feel overwhelmed,” McCarty said.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call the Genesee Health System crisis line at 810-257-3740.

Leave a Comment