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Processing traumatic events with mental health support

"Unfortunately, loss like this can trigger a lot of different feelings in people, so check in with your loved ones, check in with your family members."

MIDLAND, Texas — Dealing with, or even hearing about traumatic events isn't easy.

"Don't ignore signs," said Chandra Coleman, Coordinator for Family Resiliency Center of the Permian Basin. "Unfortunately, loss like this can trigger a lot of different feelings in people, so check in with your loved ones, check in with your family members."

At times like this, it's important to keep an eye and ear out for changes in behavior.

"Sleeping too much, not sleeping enough, changes in eating right, eating more than normal, eating less than normal, again using that typical behavior as their baseline, mood swings, changes in mood, if they seem sullen or sad, don't ignore those things," said Coleman.

Trauma does not discriminate, it can affect anyone.

"The thing that a lot of people don't realize is you don't have to be directly impacted by a traumatic event to be affected and to have trauma responses, so watching news coverage, hearing about it even at school or just from friends, social media, all of those things can actually cause trauma reaction in someone that wasn't present for the actual event," said Coleman.

Connection is an important step when it comes to the healing process.

"The community of Andrews, I think specifically, I love the fact that they're doing the candlelight vigil, I think that's an amazing way to bring the community together and share the fact that we're here and we're standing with you," said Coleman.

Having feelings like this is natural, but it's what you do with them and who you share them with that's important.

"Making sure that you've got a good support system in place, that you've got people where you feel safe talking," said Coleman. "For students that means a trusted adult, somebody that they feel comfortable sharing their feelings and thoughts with, whether that's mom or dad, or a grandparent, or a teacher or coach."

Credit: NewsWest 9
Mental health support numbers in the area.

Andrews ISD has mental health services and phone numbers available on their website homepage, so if you need a little bit of extra support, don't be afraid to reach out.