Mental Health Trauma
Without immediate mental health response by trained practitioners, an incident within an organization or a community can impact those organizations and their families for generations. Our team consists of psychologists, clinicians, therapists, and caregivers with communications, database tools, and pre-established resources to address trauma impacts.
Understanding the Issue
"Mental health is health, period. We must approach this issue with the same energy applied to any other health issue. And getting help to those suffering must be done with compassion and professionalism, not stigma”.
- Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin
90% of those who engage in self-harm have a diagnosable condition
25% of the US have a diagnosable condition
19% of mental conditions occur by the time of college age
The signs and symptoms are different for everyone
The “College Experience” can exacerbate physical and mental conditions
Feeling well connected to others contributes to mental health, meaning in life, and even physical well-being. When loneliness or isolation becomes chronic, human brains and bodies suffer, straining a person's long-term well-being.
Active Listening Skills
More involved than simply hearing what someone has to say. The active listener engages with an affected individual through empathy, rapport building (connection), influence, and working through an individual’s ambivalence about his or her situation, ultimately to effect a behavioral change. The listener should convey to the individual that they are not alone. The role of the listener is not to solve the problem so much as to acknowledge the concerns and help them move through the crisis to a state where they can then think more clearly about their situation.
Recovery After and Incident
Together We Heal
Support from others has been shown as the simplest, easiest way to heal.
Normal Feelings and Struggles After a Trauma
Shock, Sorrow, Numbness, Fear, Anger, Disillusionment, Grief
Trouble sleeping, concentrating, eating, remembering simple tasks
Flashbacks/reliving the event, questioning yourself, blaming yourself, blaming others
These feelings pass for most of us after awhile, especially with the care and support of family and friends and the community. Research shows that connection with another person, or a group, directly after a trauma decreases the risk of experiencing the full symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Remember, it’s true you may have experienced trauma, but you may not necessarily experience PTSD.
Talk About It
Don’t be afraid to ask for support from someone who cares, someone who will listen. You may also talk with others who have shared your experience. You might feel less alone. These conversations can be comforting and reassuring.
Strive for Balance
You might feel overwhelmingly negative after a tragedy. Try and balance this with thoughts, memories, and feelings about positive and safe events you’ve experienced and people you know. This helps balance your perspective.
Turn It Off and Take A Break
Take a break from the news and media sources about the event. It’s OK to stay informed, but give yourself breaks and schedule time to focus on things you enjoy. This will help you avoid being retriggered by reporting of the events.
Honor Your Feelings
It is completely normal to feel a wide range of feelings after a trauma. You may have physical and emotional stress reactions, like body pain and exhaustion, or a short temper, or spontaneous tears. This is normal. Allow yourself these feelings as long as you are staying safe. You are human. You are sensitive. These reactions are ways in which we process and express the pent-up feelings.
Take Care of Yourself
Healthy behaviors are important, like eating well, getting rest, and adding some physical activity to each day. Avoid alcohol and drugs, as they may suppress feelings or intensify them in an unnatural way. Try and keep to a schedule and routine. Use relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, deep breathing o help with disturbed sleep.
Help Others or Do Something Productive
You can serve in the community to help others who have been impacted by the incident, or who need other help. Serving others can be a welcome distraction that makes you feel better and more capable than you might think as you recover.
If You Have Recently Lost Friends or Family in This or Other Tragedies
Grief can be a long process, so give yourself time to find your own unique approach. Everyone is different. Some people stay home more often, some resume their routine right away. Expect ups and downs. You might feel “survivor guilt” – wondering why your survived and others did not. This is normal and can be difficult. Be kind to yourself as you grieve.
If You Feel You Could Use Etra Help Beyond and Above
Seek the help of a licensed mental health professional. You can find professionals through your insurance provider, through friends and family who may know someone, through work or school programs, online at websites like Psychologytoday.com, or by dialing 211 and asking for local, affordable clinics that provide psychological counseling.
988 Suicide Prevention Hotline
NAMI OC Warmline
Suicide Prevention Center Crisis Line
1-800-273-TALK or 811
Posters and Fact Sheets
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Mental Health First Aid
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline
The Columbia Lighthouse Project: Just Ask, You Can Save a Life
Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence (American Psychological Association)
Mental Health First Aid (National Council for Mental Health and Wellbeing)
Psychological First Aid (Red Cross)
Listen, Protect, and Connect: Family to Family, Neighbor to Neighbor
Resiliency Building and Training
Fit 4 Duty