We, at the Mass 9/11 Fund condemn the recent, senseless and random acts of terrorism in Paris, Egypt, Turkey, Beirut, Libya, and other countries, including the recent attacks in Israel and Mali that took the lives of two of our own Massachusetts residents. We stand in solidarity and offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims. They will remain in our hearts and prayers as they travel down the long, arduous road to recovery and healing that has been all too familiar to us, these past 14 years.
These tragic events that are sadly too frequent in the news, these days, might retrigger grief and distress. Please know that we are thinking of you and offer you our support. In addition, if you feel you need to talk to a professional, please see below letters from The Massachusetts Resiliency Center and MOVA, offering coping strategies for lessening the impact of triggers, as well as hotlines that offer free and confidential help.
For those of you with young children and teens, The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has offered suggestions for discussing these recent events with your children and helping them cope with the bombardment of tragic news and the resulting stress and confusion it might cause.
Massachusetts Resiliency Center
We, at the Resiliency Center are truly saddened by the occurrence of the recent events in Paris, and stand in solidarity with all the people tragically impacted. We are thinking of you and offer our support if you are experiencing distress as a result. Such events have the potential to trigger flashbacks and emotional distress.
Individuals may experience internal and/or external triggers. Internal triggers are things that you feel or experience inside your body and include thoughts or memories, emotions, and bodily sensation. External triggers are situations, people, or places that you might encounter throughout your day or things that happen outside your body. Following is a brief list of healthy coping strategies for lessening the impact of triggers:
Activating your social supports: It has repeatedly been found that finding support from others can be a major factor in helping people overcome difficult times-connect with people who care about you and whom you trust and are comfortable with. Lean on others.
Deep Breathing: Using your breathing techniques is an effective coping mechanism. Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. Monitor your belly rise and fall with every in-breath and out breath. Continue to take deep breaths, concentrating on only moving your belly. Here are some guided meditations: Guided Meditations
Self-Soothing: These activities involve using one or more of the five senses to relax and may include: stretching, soaking in a bath, getting a massage, listening to soothing music, smelling flowers, sipping on tea, watching a funny movie, reading a good book, and/or other activities that you enjoy or that calm you down.
Expressive Activities: Expressing the emotion through artwork or music or writing or dancing, for working through and processing your feelings is often helpful
Avoid: exposing yourself to all the news and media coverage highlighting the details of the unfolding events in France. Step away from the television, computer screen or smartphone as repeated exposure to violent images or sounds keeps traumatic events alive, and can prolong the stress response.
If you need any additional support, our navigators remain available to speak with you Monday through Friday, during normal business hours. Call 1-844-STRONG1 (787-6641) to speak with staff or visit the Resiliency Center at 1208 VFW Parkway, Boston.
Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance (MOVA)
In Massachusetts, our thoughts are with those impacted by the violent events in Paris. The images in the news are too familiar to us and we know this tragedy will have a long lasting effect on the entire community. We offer our strength and support to sustain them in the days ahead.
At MOVA, we also know events like these can impact our own community due to our unique experience. If you are a survivor, a responder or a family member who experienced the Marathon Tragedy, or have suffered through a violent event, know that is it normal if these events cause you to feel distressed and overwhelmed. Free and confidential help is available. The Disaster Distress Helpline has phone counselors available 24/7 at 1-800-985-5990. Or text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746. Also, visit www.AskMOVA.org for additional resources and referral to a local community provider.
Liam T. Lowney
Massachusetts Office for Victim Assistance
1 Ashburton Place, Suite 1101
Boston, MA 02108
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network
In light of the tragic terrorist attacks that recently unfolded, here are some resources for discussing these tragedies, should your children have any questions about what has occurred.
While the media can be helpful for keeping us informed, it also has the potential to upset and confuse children. The 24-hour news cycle can also create the effect that a traumatic event is ongoing or has happened again.
For families with very young children, we would recommend eliminating all viewing of the news, or greatly limiting your children’s exposure to distressing imagery or stories related to the events.
For families with older children and teens, if you do choose to view media related to the events, it is best to watch along with your children. This ensures that you can remain aware of what they’ve seen, and help them process the information, or answer their questions.
An excellent source for how to discuss these events with children and teens, can be found at the following website: NCTSN Tips for parents on Media Coverage.
Information courtesy of Inly School Announcement