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Coping with Stress Following a Mass Shooting

Mass shootings and other disaster events can be extremely stressful. Mobile devices and the internet provide instant access to the details of these events, but can also overwhelm us. Graphic images and videos, often seen in real time, can be very distressing. The seemingly random nature of these events as well as the 24/7/365 access to information about disasters around the world can leave us feeling unsafe and in persistent danger after a mass shooting occurs. Constantly feeling unsafe can lead to a variety of behaviors such as trouble sleeping, irritability, difficulty concentrating, increased use of alcohol and tobacco, social isolation and fear of those around us. In addition to the imagery, news commentary and political rhetoric that surround these events can enhance distress as well as mistrust, and further community divisions.