Washington, DC- In the immediate aftermath of a mass violence like the Orlando Club incident, it is common to experience feelings of anxiety, helplessness
and fear—even for those with no personal connection to the tragedy. Other signs of emotional distress may include:
Feeling numb or like nothing matters
Feeling helpless or hopeless
Worrying a lot of the time; feeling guilty but not sure why
“Because these types of disasters are unpredictable and can happen anywhere without warning, it’s normal for people to experience emotional distress,” said Tanya A.
Royster, MD, Director of the Department of Behavioral Health. “It’s important to pay attention to your physical and mental health, take steps to relieve stress, and know when to get help.”
KNOW HOW TO RELIEVE STRESS
Limit exposure to graphic news stories
Get accurate, timely information from reliable sources
Maintain a normal daily routine, if possible
Exercise, eat well and rest
Stay active – physically and mentally
Stay in touch with family and friends
Keep a sense of humor
Share your concerns with others
Most people who experience emotional distress related to mass violence are able to recover quickly, but others may need additional support to move forward on the
path of recovery.
KNOW WHEN TO GET HELP
Seek professional help if tragedy-related emotional or psychological problems persist or become severe.
You may want to talk to your doctor or a counselor if stress is causing you to experience physical symptoms or worsening of a chronic medical condition.
Finally, seek professional help if you find yourself “treating” your stress by misuse or abuse of alcohol or drugs, or by engaging in other unhealthy
The Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) encourages residents to
call the 24-hour ACCESS helpline (1-800-854-7771) if they feel the need to speak with a professional.
The confidential helpline is available year-round for the