How to cope with the Orlando massacre

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH)–The targeted attack on the LGBTQ community in Orlando by suspected terrorist Omar Mateen, is leaving an indelible impact on many of us.

“I think as adults we are becoming alternately kind of tuned in to the fact that this senseless erratic violence can take place but also that it’s not something we necessarily have any control over.”

Dr. Laura Saunders is a clinical psychologist with Institute of Living at Hartford Hospital.

She worries most about the children most vulnerable to anxiety.

Adults, she says, should provide assurance in times like these.

“We can’t provide promises that nothing bad will happen because we don’t know that for sure. We hope not but we don’t know that but assurances are that we as a family and as a community, as our police and our military, they will do their best to keep us safe.”

Limiting news coverage at home she says — is a good thing for anyone feeling overly anxious.

“I think it’s important that we have news and accurate news but I think when it’s that secondary and its sort of running on and on, it really doesn’t benefit anyone.”

Dr. Saunders recommends being aware of our surroundings in public settings and practicing good safe habits.

“Where we are just aware of where exits are, we are aware of the things in our environment. The things that are out of place or out of order, the what if you see something say something. Being more aware is a plan full way to decrease anxiety.”

Something to keep in mind as we look beyond Orlando.

“We’re not individuals, we’re part of a community and the more we can react out to others to help those in our community, it creates a sense of bond and connections that also increase our safety and security.”

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