Can there really be no signs or warnings before a teenager strikes out in violence? What can parents do? Talk about it in our community forums.
The effects of the shooting at Millard South will reach far beyond the school community and the families involved, a state official said.
Visit the Department of Health and Human Services website for its Network of Care.
“Families, friends, first responders, students and even those who just hear the news through the media may have trouble sleeping, concentrating, eating or remembering even simple tasks,” said Scot L. Adams, director of the Division of Behavioral Health at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.
“Feelings of shock, sorrow, numbness, fear, anger, disillusionment or grief are common and hopefully will pass in time," he said.
Feelings might be surprisingly intense as people try to comprehend "why such a terrible thing as the shootings at Millard South would take place," he said.
Some might feel the world is a more dangerous place today than it was yesterday.
Adams offered tips that might help people deal with their feelings:
● Take time now to “feel it.” Don't push your feelings away. Shock and denial are typical responses to traumatic events. Reactions vary from one person to another.
● Talk to others about it. Ask for support from people who care about you and who will listen to your concerns. Mental health officials say that many people in distress need someone just to listen to them. Support groups can be helpful.
● Strive for balance. When a tragedy occurs, it's easy to become overwhelmed and have a negative or pessimistic outlook. Balance that viewpoint by reminding yourself of people and events that are meaningful and comforting, even encouraging.
● It is important to get professional help if you feel like you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living. At times, individuals can get stuck or have difficulty managing intense reactions. Signs and symptoms of distress can occur days and weeks after such an event. A licensed mental health professional, such as a psychologist, can assist in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward.
● Try to limit the amount of powerful images you see from the incident. They can reawaken your feeling of distress.
● Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress. Eat well-balanced meals, get plenty of rest, and avoid alcohol and caffeine. If you have trouble sleeping, try some relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga.
Physical symptoms, like headaches, nausea and chest pain can accompany extreme stress.
“It will take some time for people to recover their sense of equilibrium,” Adams said. “Over time, the caring support of family, friends, church and other supports can help lessen the emotional impact.”