Survivors of mass shootings have mental health support, health expert says

Survivors of mass shootings have mental health support, health expert says
Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 2:15 PM EST
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MICHIGAN (WNEM) - Students nowadays have been trained since elementary school on what to do in case 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 coping with the aftermath of an attack, like the shooting that took place at the University of Virginia Sunday night, is something that is not taught.

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

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

“There’s lots of mental health support out there. There’s also the opportunity of course to talk with your natural supports, and do things that make us feel good, have good self-care. There’s also crisis lines and crisis services for people who really need much more intensive support,” McCarty said.

McCarty said that just because you’re not directly impacted by a mass shooting, does not 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 maybe they’ve experienced. And so, whether you’re directly involved or not directly involved, watching about it on the news maybe, it’s always good to seek out support if people are feeling overwhelmed,” McCarty said.

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