According to research conducted at Chapman University in Orange, California, 28.1% of Americans fear the occurrence of a mass shooting. The nation’s fears are not without reason; in the last 2 years, our country has faced 4 of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern history. Taking place in a range of locations: a church, a school, a concert, and a nightclub, it seems like no place is too safe or in the clear.
On Valentine’s Day, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, was the scene of our nation’s 9th deadliest mass shooting. 17 individuals, including young students and teachers, were robbed of their lives by 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. The news echoed throughout the country, once again tearing through the healing heart of the nation, that less than half a year ago endured both the Las Vegas and the Sutherland Springs shootings, where a total of 84 lives were lost.
In the midst of this challenging time, it important that we become united as a nation, we must find a way to stay strong for one another. The fears and emotions felt following such a devastating event are not easy to deal with, but it is of incredible importance that we do not allow this tragedy to overtake our willingness to fight to make a difference. A necessary balance of self-care and a desire to improve the endless cycle of violence are necessary in order for our country to once again feel safe.
Here are some helpful tips to assist you in coping with both the sadness and fear brought by this awful event:
• Give yourself time: Allow yourself to cope and accept the emotions you are currently dealing with. You deserve, and need the time to get through whatever it is that you are feeling or afraid of.
• Reach out: Talk to your friends and family about the things that may be running through your head, you don’t need to go through this challenging experience alone.
• Take a break from the news and social media: Allow yourself the opportunity to heal before you surround yourself with the constant reminder of the occurrence, you need comfort more than you need details.
• Find a way to help: Whether that is by lending a shoulder to cry on, or by participating in a march or rally for change, being involved and helping others may, in turn, help you too.