Mass violence events are without a doubt amongst the most traumatic events there are, especially school shootings. Aside from fatal casualties, these events also lead to permanent psychological and emotional scarring of those who survive them. These traumatic experiences often have long-term consequences on the mental health of the mass violence event victims.
Given the frequency of these events in the past several years, it’s becoming clear that something has to be done not only about increasing safety in educational facilities but also the way we respond to school shootings. With that in mind, here are a few tips for helping students after a school shooting so they can cope with these mass violence events more effectively.
Rely on a school counselor to help cope with the trauma
Tragic events such as school shootings are incredibly stressful for those who experience it first-hand. If you were present while the school shooting was taking place or someone you knew lost their life to this tragic event, you might have a difficult time readjusting. There may be a sense of survivor guilt, feelings of anger, as well as the fear of such events happening again. Many students may find it hard to get back to their normal routine, experience difficulties sleeping, and have trouble escaping the negative thinking and reminiscing about the event.
This is why the role of a school counselor is vital in the process. A counselor is there to help students address the problems that arise following the aftermath of a school shooting. They do so by listening to everything from concerns to fears to anxieties students have. A reliable counselor will also help traumatized students reconnect and reaffirm their relationships, thus providing them with much-needed social support.
Focus on improving school safety measures to reduce the risk of incidents
There’s no doubt that the students’ overall sense of safety will be shaken up after a tragic event that is a school shooting. And it’s not only the individuals who were the victims of a mass violence event that may feel like their sense of security has been harmed. The consequences of a school shooting also reflect in the way the society feels as a whole.
One of the ways to reduce this feeling of unpredictability is by relying on the experienced GSG security company to reinforce school safety. These and similar school safety measures help students regain control and reestablish hope and faith. By taking steps to respond to the victim’s key needs, you can help them get through the troubled times and adjust to the situation at hand with more ease.
Help students maintain a sense of normalcy
It goes without saying that traumatic events such as mass violence event can be rather disruptive to the students’ existing routine. Not only does this make it difficult for them to perform academically, but it also reflects in the way students go about their days when they’re not at school. After all, a routine is a vital component that provides students with comfort.
When all efforts are focused on responding to a crisis, it helps to prioritize sticking to a typical day-to-day routine. It acts as a reminder to students that there are things in their life that are kept under control, offering them the much-needed reassurance, and, as a result, helping them regain a sense of normalcy.
Provide the amount of information that the students can handle
Last but not least, it’s important for students to talk about school shootings as much as possible. Curious by nature, children usually ask a number of questions in instances such as these. Such events are unimaginable and confusing to them. Naturally, they’ll want to learn who did it, the reason behind it, and the damage and consequences of a school shooting.
What’s vital at this stage is that students have their questions answered in a way that’s understandable to them. You want to offer them the amount and type of information that they’re able to handle, and this will largely depend on their age. FInally, you need to make sure not to overshare and consult with school teachers and administrators about which information to provide and how to do it right.
Regardless of whether you’ve witnessed an incident or know someone who did, navigating the complexities of a school shooting aftermath can be challenging. As a result of the impact of mass violence event, students may experience everything from grief to anger to guilt, and may have trouble getting back to their normal activities. By taking steps to address their feelings, provide reassurance, and improve overall school safety measures, you can give students the help they need to recover and continue with their day-to-day life.