Santa Barbara County Psychological Association Offers Resources in Wake of Mass Shooting

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Psychologists in the Santa Barbara County region joined colleagues Monday in expressing deep sadness over the mass shooting of concertgoers in Las Vegas, NV, on Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Several local families were directly impacted by the tragedy.

“We want to insure people that many of the feelings they are experiencing – shock, anger, fear – are normal responses to a trauma,” said Dr. Laura Ciel, president of the association that represents more than 190 licensed clinical psychologists, graduate students in psychology, and post-doctoral trainees.

Psychologists counsel victims to seek safety, process with friends and loved ones the feelings they are experiencing, and to access help if they are not finding that their symptoms decline over time. Taking proactive, empowering action – such as donating blood or supporting survivors by donating to vetted organizations – can be helpful. Specific guidelines exist for explaining and reassuring children during such times. Excessive exposure to media coverage of traumatic events is not recommended for anyone, especially children. 

As in previous tragedies, many members of the SBCPA community offer short-term, low-cost or no-cost therapy to community members who have been touched by this event and who need help managing more difficult or lasting responses.

In addition, the SBCPA pointed to helpful resources of the affiliated American Psychological Association about the aftermath of such tragedies and how they impact both adults and children. 

The following links to pages on the American Psychological Association’s website address trauma after mass shootings, talking with children, and media exposure.

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