As another mass shooting impacts the nation many of us will try to understand what has taken place and rationalize why it happened. We will be subject to the non-stop media coverage that is currently available within our society. Each media outlet will have its story and explanation of why the shooting took place and the details surrounding the event. As viewers, trying to make sense of the situation, we will often engage in replaying the shocking event over and over again. A traumatic event, such as what recently occurred in Oregon, may have a far-reaching effect on people who feel connected by seeing coverage via television, social media, online websites, or newspapers.
Media reports involving mass shootings can activate grief in those who have unresolved grief in their own lives. These individuals can experience real grief even if they have not met the victims or experienced the situation first hand. For those who have unresolved grief, even learning about a traumatic event can retrigger feelings of grief.
It is important to acknowledge the effect media coverage can have on individuals in our community. If you are a loved one is experiencing anxiety, depression, or unresolved grief, please call us and schedule some time to talk. Help is available! Call us now: (816) 232-4417.
Kathryn Worland, MSW, LCSW is the Director of Behavioral Health Services and Patient-Centered Medical Home at Northwest Health Services. Kathryn writes a bi-weekly blog for Northwest Health on behavioral health issues.