Traumatic events like the Trestle Trail tragedy can impact the community’s sense of safety and security, says Samaritan therapist Dede Harris-Bruss.
It’s normal to experience both emotional and physical responses, Harris-Bruss says.
“Even if you were not directly impacted by the event, it is normal to feel anxious, scared, sad and uncertain about the future.”
Harris-Bruss says to help heal from the aftermath of a traumatic event:
- seek comfort andsupport
- minimize media exposure
- acknowledge and accept your feelings
- make stress reduction a priority
Children need extra reassurance and support after tragic events. She says it is important for parents, teachers and caregivers to:
- create an environment in which children feel safe communicating their feelings
- not assume they know how children are feeling
- be empathetic and good listeners
- send the message, “I know you’re scared, and that’s okay. I’m here, and I’m going to help you get through this.”
Dede Harris-Bruss, MSE, LPC, SASA is a licensed professional counselor. Dede has an AODA specialty in counseling. She sees clients in the Fox Cities and New London.