CHARDON -- To help families and students deal with the emotional toll that has come along with the tragic shooting at Chardon High School, mental health agencies across the area have come together to help move the healing process along.
Much of the counseling efforts have been coordinated by, Kathyrn Biddle, Assistant Vice President of Clinical Services at Beechbrook.
Beginning in the first two days following Monday's shooting, counselors met with students and staff, debriefing them and processing the events that took place. Wednesday was used as a time to educate and provide emotional support to staff members of Chardon High.
Counselors have also worked with students on the "re-entry" process and what to expect when returning to school for the first time.
They've also worked to educate staff on what to look for in students who may be a little more affected by the incident and could be in need of additional counseling.
According to Biddle, the following are signs that people often show after experiencing a traumatic event:
- Numbness and inability to feel at anything at all
- Flashbacks or bad dreams
- Heightened state of fear; hyper-vigilance
- Hyper-arousal; sleep disruption, bad eating habits and abnormal physical complaints
Biddle also suggests that people keep in mind how rare of an event this is and to not let it effect their daily lifestyle. It's important that people carry-on with their normal routines.
Most importantly, you must take responsiblity for your own health.
Also, to help reduce stress, Biddle recommends reaching out to others as healing through community.
Anyone who experiences the above symptoms for prolonged periods of time should seek professional help.