Coping with the reality of senseless violence

(Photo: Doug Saunders/Los Angeles News Group)

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Across America, outrage and anger, expressed over the mass shooting in San Bernardino.

People of all ages trying to cope with the reality of it all, with both sides of gun control and mental illness weighing in.

Some experts warning against mixing two different issues, both needing serious attention.

“There will always be individuals who perpetuate violence, who also have a mental illness, but that’s because mental illnesses are quite common, in fact,” said Psychiatrist Dr. Vinod Srihari.

He pointed out, “In the case of mental illness, I would say the following that its much more likely that the people with mental illnesses would be victims of violence and when they are implicated in violent episodes, more often or not it’s related to substance abuse, which makes all of us more liable to commit crimes.”

For those finding it tough to cope with what happened in California, he prescribed talking about it with family and friends, and consider limiting how much you watch and read about it.

If needed, consult a therapist.

If your child raises concerns, be as frank as you can, keeping in mind how much your child can handle. Most importantly, comfort them.

“Re-assuring them that this is an event that has causes that we can understand and that as a society we can intervene in particular ways to reduce their occurrences. That they are tragic events that we shouldn’t allow to keep happening and find ways to address but that they are safe where they are. That we are doing things in our communities, that are reasonable that protect their safety,” said Dr. Srihari.

Dr. Srihari added that an honest discussion among adults and kids leads to being more informed and potential solutions, but he stressed that it won’t work in all families. So do keep in mind how much your family can handle.

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