Mental health on parents’ minds after a series of school shootings in recent years

INDIANAPOLIS — Mental health is at the forefront of the minds of many local parents following the series of school shootings in recent years.

Monday’s shooting at Michigan State University ended with three lives taken and five others injured.

It came just one day before the five-year anniversary of the Parkland, Florida, shooting that left 17 people dead.

“Unfortunately, this is happening more and more often, and I think it creates a little bit of anxiety,” said Kimble Richardson, an advisor to the Community Health Network.

Richardson said that active shooting situations can be harmful to students’ health.

“These types of situations can cause acute distress, meaning now in the moment, or they can trigger past tensions, anxieties, or fears,” Richardson said.

He said that both situations usually don’t go away on their own.

“Now more than ever, it’s important that we look after our mental health, reach out to people and seek professional advice or support if needed,” Richardson said.

An Indianapolis dad who didn’t want to be on camera said he drove to MSU on Tuesday to pick up his daughter. He said the campus was eerily quiet and it looked like people were still in shock.

Richardson said that tragedies can often change parent-child relationships.

“I think it’s very natural for parents to want even more contact with their children, even as young adults,” Richardson said. “And for the student or young adult, two things, hey, my parents might have extra concerns and might want to reach out a little more. Also, personally, students are saying that I want more contact with my parents, and that’s fine. It’s healthy.”

Owner of Goodes Security Consulting and former Secret Service agent in Indianapolis, Roger Goodes said there are ways to relax.

“We do this every day in certain parts of our lives, like driving,” Goodes said. “We follow the rules. We see when a car is going really fast and you slow down, or you see kids playing on the side of the road and you slow down to prepare for these things to happen.”

“We just need to expand those things even further in our lives. So when you go to a mall or one of these other places where these horrible events took place, you have some kind of plan,” he said. “Talk to your friends and family or whoever you are with, so if God forbid something happens you’ll know how to respond.”

Goodes said to always be aware of your surroundings.

“I don’t want people to get paranoid, these are just simple tasks that you can run in your mind and then you can keep doing whatever you’re doing.”

Mental health on parents’ minds after a series of school shootings in recent years

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