Managing your mental health in the midst of various tragedies and how to talk to your children

Recent tragedies have stirred many emotions in people, even those not directly affected by them.

Mental health advocates are reminding people to take care of themselves during these times and to seek resources if you need them.

“Whether you were directly or distantly involved, it’s still really hard to take in and process that,” says Chris Roup, the former executive director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Fresno.

She says people are likely feeling a wide range of emotions following several mass shootings this week in our state.

While she says it’s normal for people to feel sad, angry, or helpless, it’s important to recognize that shift and take care of yourself.

Roup says to make sure you’re doing things that help take care of your own well-being, such as getting enough sleep, eating regularly, exercising your body, and engaging in activities that improve your mood, such as sharing with friends or participating in a hobby.

You can also filter by what you watch on TV and see on social media.

“Maybe take a break from the information that comes in. And if you feel the need to stay connected and see updates, make sure those come from a credible source as well.” said Roup.

Children are not immune to violence.

Roup says it’s important for parents to involve their children in the conversation.

“Just ask them if you’re up to date with the news happening? Has anyone talked about it at school or in your friend group,” Roup said.

From there, Roup suggests that parents ask their child what they feel and what they need.

That could include reassuring them about their own safety, removing them from future conversations, or putting them in touch with additional resources.

Parents can contact their child’s school to see what mental health resources they have on campus, including student-led mental health clubs or peer counselors.

Anyone can contact NAMI Fresno for more information on resources. The phone number is (559) 224-2469.

You can also visit CalHope. They have a live chat option or you can call 833-317-4673 and talk to a live person.

“If you feel several emotions at the same time, that’s not normal. It’s okay. We can get through it. We just need to be aware of it and take some steps to process what we’re feeling.” said Roup.

If you or someone you know is facing a mental health crisis, help is available 24 hours a day.

Call or text 988 for the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

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Managing your mental health in the midst of various tragedies and how to talk to your children

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