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How children’s mental health is impacted after experiencing trauma

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Brian Kirkpatrick
/
Texas Public Radio

Families, educators, and students are still trying to comprehend Tuesday’s mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Experts say children may exhibit feelings of shock, anger and sadness after a school shooting. Students can present signs of anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and increased stress in the aftermath of a crisis.

Mental health experts advise parents to address school shootings with their children.

In the last decade, there have been numerous school shootings and countless incidents of gun violence. Tuesday’s tragedy is the deadliest school shooting in the past 10 years since the Sandy Hook Elementary incident.

What effects do school shootings have on developing brains? When is the right time to speak to a child about how they feel after experiencing and witnessing a traumatic event? How should parents and guardians approach children after a tragedy?

How can adults best help children grieve the loss of loved ones? What organizations are available to facilitate crisis counseling?

What do experts say about returning to school? What resources are there to help address children’s mental health after a traumatic experience? What’s needed for families to process this trauma?

What should the Uvalde community be prepared for in the coming months as they continue to process this week’s events?

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*This interview was recorded on Thursday, May 26.

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