WXXI AM News

Psychologist: another mass shooting and its possible impact on people's mental health

Oct 2, 2017

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Events like the mass shooting in Las Vegas can weigh on people's psyche and sense of safety, especially since people are being exposed to tragedies like this more than ever.

That's from psychologist and clinical manager at Evelyn Brandon Health Center, Dr. Pauline Stahlbrodt, who says it can be difficult to cope with such events.

"We try and go about our business as much as possible, you can't stop what you do in your day-to-day life.  But absolutely, I think over time, has an impact," she said.

Her advice?

Allow yourself to do what you would normally do.

"Don't dwell on this as much as possible, it really just tends to only create more depression and more paranoia, especially if it's something there isn't anything you can physically do anything about," she said.

Dr. Stahlbrodt says talking about the incident to children can be especially difficult, but she advises parents be very frank and listen to their children's concerns.

"Help them think about what they can do, what kind of action they can take, if that's something they feel compelled to do.  Again, helping them focus on the 'what do you need to take care of today and what's going to help you feel better,'" she said.

Dr. Stahlbrodt adds it's a difficult subject to discuss with children because of their level of understanding.

She adds there's no real way to explain this type of thing to very young children, and the more parents can protect them from this kind of information, the better.

With recent disasters in the news,  WXXI has developed an  age-appropriate guide for parents and teachers to help kids cope when they hear about these kinds of events. Click HERE to read the guide.