Coping with Dallas
Mourning Dallas – as individuals and as a nation
News of the deadliest incident for U.S. law enforcement since the 9/11 attacks can affect many of us more personally than we might expect. Monarch therapist and Clinical Operations Manager Judith Chappell, MA, LCAS, LPC, CSI, CSOTS has some insight on how to cope with tragedy such as the attack in Dallas that killed five police officers, wounding still other officers and two civilians.
“We feel the loss as individuals but mourn as a community and nation,” Chappell said. This kind of news may remind us of the unrest in our society, or of friends and family who work in law enforcement and put themselves at risk daily with the mission of keeping us safe.
“It can be emotionally draining,” Chappell added. “It’s a grieving process even when we don’t know the victims personally. We can suffer from anger, anxiety, sadness, depression and feelings of hopelessness and helplessness.”
She shares these suggestions for coping:
• Share your feelings. Talk with a friend, community leader, religious leader or mental health professional.
• Engage in quiet time and meditation.
• Focus on what you can control and engage in self-care.
• Limit your news exposure.
• With children, limit exposure to media and give honest answers to their questions without going into too much detail.
• Light a candle or plant a tree to honor the lives of those lost. Or, deliberately acquaint yourself with the name and/or face of one of the victims and take action to honor that individual.
“We also need to learn and gain insight from a tragedy,” Chappell said. “If we don’t learn and change anything as a society, we truly don’t honor the lives lost.”