Coping with Tragedy
Experiencing, witnessing, or learning of a traumatic event or major loss can produce significant stress reactions. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. It is difficult to define a typical reaction to trauma as each of us may respond differently. It is important that you allow yourself and others to react to trauma and loss in their own personal way. There is no correct way to respond to trauma and loss. It is critical that in your response to trauma that you allow yourself to experience your feelings, take care of yourself, and seek support from family and friends and, if necessary, a mental health or health professional.
- Share your feelings with others
- Recognize and validate your feelings of fear
- Avoid being alone
- Spend time in environments that feel safe and comforting
- Ask for help in completing tasks
- Seek accurate information on the event and responses to such events
- Take a break from information on the tragedy
- Seek consultation with a professional if you feel unable to cope (Counseling and Wellness Services - 775-3407 / Student Health Services - 775 - 2552)
- Recognize that you cannot control everything. There are things in our life that are reasonably within our control and things that are not. It is sometimes difficult to recognize the difference.
- If you draw strength from faith, you may find solace in prayer.
- Find something to do - volunteer time, donate resources, try to make a difference in a positive way.
- Allow yourself time to heal and cope.
- American Psychological Association's Links to Coping with Traumatic Events
- American Psychological Association document - Managing Traumatic Stress
- American Psychological Association document - Warning Signs of Trauma-related Stress