By Susan Resko
July 7, 2022

It was May 18 when I shared my thoughts about the senseless shootings at a grocery store in New York and a church in California. Then, on May 24, 19 children and 2 teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas. And now our own community in Highland Park at a 4th of July parade. It’s hard to find words to talk about four massacres in less than two months.

But that is exactly what is needed right now. We need to find words (and other healthy, expressive mediums) to express the range of emotions we are feeling – anger, sadness, fear, disbelief, concern, exhaustion… the list could go on and on. We must draw close as a community and share our grief, support one another and vow to make things better.

For more than 70 years, Josselyn therapists have been present for you and for our community to talk. We support our clients through the darkest moments of their lives. We help to find the words that will allow us to process, grieve, and heal.

If you, or someone you know, needs help processing the events of this week or of a lifetime, please don’t delay. Our Northfield Walk-In Clinic is available, Monday – Friday, 9am to 3pm.

This special edition of Talk lists multiple resources available to you. Please share this widely and frequently with your own networks.

We will grieve together and support each other.

Susan

Josselyn Is Here For You

Walk-In Clinic
Monday – Friday
9am to 3pm
405 Central Avenue, Northfield

Individual and Group Therapy
Therapy appointments available Monday – Saturday.
Locations vary in Northfield, Waukegan and online.

Josselyn Living Room Center
Open to offer crisis intervention for any adult affected by the shooting or experiencing any crisis. The program is entirely funded by the State of Illinois Division of Mental Health and there are no fees nor insurance requirements. The Living Room is located at 1779 Maple, Northfield.

Monday – Thursday 9am – 7pm
Friday 9am – 4pm
Saturday 9am – 2pm

Josselyn’s Website
We offer a wealth of articles and resources to assist you with your mental health challenges.

Caring For Children And Families

Mass shootings have an impact on entire communities and children can especially be impacted from hearing the news or from online chatter. What can you do to be part of the solution?

Sit down and talk with your children about troubling social media posts. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, 56% of active shooters leaked intent to commit violence prior to the attack and 88% of the active shooters aged 17 and younger leaked intent to commit violence. Report emotionally charged and troubling posts which include words such as “hurt,” “stab,” “murder,” etc. to site administrators, or the police. Reassure your children that they will not get in trouble, and they can remain anonymous but it’s important to tell you or call the police.

Educate yourself and your family about the nature of violence and to help debunk ignorance and myths about people with mental illness who are often unfairly blamed. Mental health conditions are common around the globe, yet no other country comes close to the level of gun violence our country experiences.

Watch for signs of trauma in your child, as well as things you can do at home to support your children through this time. Josselyn has many clinicians trained to work with children of all ages.

Share this toolkit with friends and family members who are impacted by the shooting.

Take a news break, especially when your children are present.  Take them outside. Often times children find it easier to open up when they are active. They can also be frightened or embarrassed by their feelings; be open and honest about your feelings to encourage them to share their own.

Additional Resources

Josselyn can’t do this work alone. We are part of a larger network in the North Shore and beyond. Here are just a few resources that may be helpful.

The Highland Park Community Foundation has established a special fund with contributions going directly to victims and survivors or the organizations that support them.

SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline
Call or text 1–800–985–5990 and receive immediate counseling. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is available to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event. People who call and text are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. Helpline staff provide confidential counseling, referrals, and other needed support services.

SAMHSA Web Resources
This tip sheet offers relevant resources and additional support for survivors grieving from a disaster or traumatic event.

Another tip sheet focuses on how to manage stress following a traumatic event.

This tip sheet offers guidance for parents and caregivers to speak with their children following a traumatic event.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Website
The CDC offers resources both specific to a disaster or traumatic events but also to general emotional wellbeing.

Bounce Back Now
This free mobile app, available through the Google Play and App Stores, is intended to help people with coping and resilience after a natural disaster or incident of mass violence.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network
This website offers a wealth of resources to help young people who have experienced a traumatic event.

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