How to Cope With Traumatic Events

Helpful Resources from the JED Foundation

Being exposed to community violence, such as school shootings or other frightening events, can cause trauma for all of us. The dictionary describes trauma as “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.” An event can be distressing, even if you were not there when it happened. Just hearing and thinking about upsetting events in the news can be traumatic. Experts call this “collective trauma,” because we experience it together—as a community or a country, for instance.

Trauma can make it hard to go about your normal life. It can shake your sense of safety in the world. And it can affect people of all backgrounds, ages, races, and genders. For those of us who have experienced personal trauma, living through a collective trauma can trigger emotions that remind us of our own traumas. The bottom line is that processing the emotions of a traumatic event will look different for each of us.

How you feel about and respond to traumatic events may differ, but it’s important to know that it can have a very real impact on your mental health and well-being. And there are things you can do to cope and move through it. You deserve that support, and it will help.

More resources from the JED Foundation …