Expert Advice On Coping During Tragedies

DULUTH, Minn. – While the country mourns and tries to make the slightest sense of the mass shooting in Las Vegas, mental health experts are speaking out.

Extreme tragedies can take a toll on one’s mental health, according to Kelly Chaudoin-Patzoldt, a mental health professional at St. Luke’s.

She says it’s important to talk to other about your feelings and also pull back from the constant media coverage.

“It’s really easy to feel overwhelmed by it. And taking a step back, getting back into routine, can help create that balance of knowing that really awful things can happen, and wanting to give support and things to people, but also realizing that being in a routine helps create a sense of normalcy again,” Chaudoin-Patzoldt said.

Experts also suggest making sure children and young people are given limited access from violent images and specific details of a tragedy.

“Help steer them in a direction where they have enough information so that they know kind of what happened, kind of in a general way, but they don’t need to hear the details. That’s traumatizing for them. Pictures of people running, these things they shouldn’t be seeing,” said Mary McClernon, a behavioral health specialist at Essentia Health.

Experts encourage anyone who might be having a difficult time coping with tragedy to seek counseling from a professional.

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