We are all devastated by the horrific and tragic events at the Boston Marathon. Our condolences are with the families of the victims, and our thoughts go out to those who were injured, those who responded to the incident, and to all of those who witnessed this tragedy.
Events of mass violence can trigger overwhelming feelings of anxiety, anger or fear. The Department of Mental Health has identified a number of resources to help you cope with the trauma, grief and aftermath of this incident. The Federal Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990,can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is also available via SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746) to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event. Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.
You can also visit the link to the Federal Disaster Distress webpage on distress and coping with incidents of mass violence here - http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/disasters/incidents-of-mass-violence.aspx.
In addition, if employees are interested in participating in group counseling sessions, please contact your supervisor and Human Resources Director who can arrange for such services through the Group Insurance Commission. Employees may also arrange for services through their individual health care plans.
The Department of Mental Health has assembled many other resources to help state employees and their families manage emotions, grief and stress in the aftermath of a traumatic and violent event.
- Dealing with the Effects of Trauma: A Self-Help Guide —This Federal Disaster Distress guide provides more in-depth information on recovering from a traumatic event and is geared toward those whose reactions may be lingering.
- Effects of Traumatic Stress after Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster—Developed by the National Center for PTSD, this publication provides information regarding normal reactions to abnormal situations. It includes descriptions of common traumatic stress reactions, problematic stress responses, and symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and acute stress disorder.
- Tips for Survivors of a Traumatic Event: Managing Your Stress —This tip sheet outlines the common signs of stress after a disaster and provides stress reduction strategies. http://store.samhsa.gov/shin/content/NMH05-0209R/NMH05-0209R.pdf
- Tips for Talking with and Helping Children and Youth Cope after a Disaster or Traumatic Event —This fact sheet helps parents and teachers recognize and address problems in children and teens affected by the trauma after an act of violence. It describes signs of stress reactions that are common in young trauma survivors at different ages, and offers tips on how to help. http://store.samhsa.gov/product/Tips-for-Talking-to-Children-and-Youth-After-Traumatic-Events-A-Guide-for-Parents-and-Educators/KEN01-0093R
- Tips for Managing and Preventing Stress: A Guide for Emergency Response and Public Safety Workers
This fact sheet gives organizational and individual tips for stress prevention and management for emergency response workers and public safety workers. It describes normal reactions to a disaster, signs of the need for stress management, and ways to handle stress.
You can also visit the link to the SAMHSA webpage on distress and coping with incidents of mass violence here - http://disasterdistress.samhsa.gov/disasters/incidents-of-mass-violence.aspx
This information is provided by the Department of Mental Health