Red Cross Deploys Mental Health Workers In Response To Colorado Shooting
The Red Cross has deployed mental health workers in response to the shooting this morning at the Century 16 theaters in Aurora.
Patricia Billinger with the Red Cross says while the organization is known for helping during natural disasters, it is prepared to assist during manmade disasters as well. Billinger says the Red Cross is continuing to work with those directly affected by the shooting, and is also assisting with the community response.
“A major part of the Red Cross support for our community during any disaster such as this one is to provide mental health support. So we do have mental health workers who are supporting the community response to this very devastating event.”
Billinger says the Red Cross will be providing general mental health information on its website [.pdf] to help the general public deal with the aftermath of today’s deadly shooting.
The website PBS Parents says there are ways families can talk about disasters that will help children cope in times of stress:
Start by finding out what your child knows. When a news topic comes up, ask an open-ended question to find out what she knows like "What have you heard about it?" This encourages your child to let you know what she is thinking. Ask a follow up question. Depending on your child's comments, ask another question to get him thinking, such as "Why do you think that happened?" or "What do you think people should do to help?" Explain simply. Give children the information they need to know in a way that makes sense to them. At times, a few sentences are enough. "A good analogy is how you might talk about sex," adds Nancy Carlsson-Paige, Ed. D. "You obviously wouldn't explain everything to a 5-year-old. Talking about violence and safety is similar."
For more information on how to maintain your mental health after a disaster as well as how to volunteer or donate to the Red Cross, visit coloradoredcross.org. The Aurora Mental Health center says residents can also call 303-617-2300 to talk to a mental health professional there.