Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibility'People Are Struggling': A doctor offers grief advice as Nashville community mourns | WZTV
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'People Are Struggling': A doctor offers grief advice as Nashville community mourns

Harvard-educated doctor offers grief advice as Nashville community mourns{ } (WZTV)
Harvard-educated doctor offers grief advice as Nashville community mourns (WZTV)
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"People are struggling."

These are words directly from Harvard and Stanford alum, physician, and Chief Health Officer of Crisis Text Line Dr. Shairi Turner.

Tragedy struck Monday morning at 10:10 a.m. when police confirm 28-year-old Audrey Hale gunned down an elementary school in Nashville.

Three children and three staff members were killed.

What does a parent tell their child in response to the tragedy?

Dr. Turner provided some tips for everyone, but also for families specifically, for dealing with the mental and emotional effects of events like Monday's shooting.

For families, she highlights first and foremost, one cannot help someone else if they don't help themselves. Parents need to make sure they are supported so they can help their children.

These are very difficult times to be a parent," Dr. Turner says. "Parents as they support their children, also need to seek that support for themselves when they need it.

Additionally, she notes the importance of providing age-appropriate guidance to kids in response to tragedies like the Covenant mass shooting. Sometimes, children can even be too young to have the topic introduced to them at all.

However, if the child is old enough to be aware of what happened Monday, a parent needs to play detective in a way.

You want to check in on what’s being said at school, or with their friends, so that you can provide some reality or advice or guidance around what they’re hearing or what they’re feeling.

That way, parents can provide facts and truth to kids in response to what they have seen or heard about the events.

Finally, opening channels of long-term communication with children is important, as those feelings they may have are not necessarily going to be processed within the week. It could take multiple weeks if not months to process their feelings and get all of their questions answered.

However, children are not the only ones suffering as a result of the shooting. Adults need help as well.

FOX 17 News asked Dr. Turner for some practical tips in dealing with the school shooting.

They are as follows:

  1. Listen to your body
  2. Set boundaries
  3. Reaching for support

Listening to your body

Dr. Turner says it is imperative to check in with our physical self to see what symptoms we might be experiencing, such as stomach or headaches. Our bodies can often tell us when we are stressed.

Set boundaries

Making sure to give yourself a break from Monday's event by engaging in some form of relaxation. Taking care of yourself is nothing to be ashamed of.

Reach out for support

Checking in with friends and family is important. And when someone really needs support, one option is Crisis Text Line, where anyone dealing with anything from depression to anxiety to sadness can text 741741 to get support from a volunteer crisis counselor.

Finally, sometimes longer-term help may be needed when mental health or emotional symptoms come up as a result of a crisises like the Nashville shooting.

However, Dr. Turner emphasizes the importance of checking in with one's self early to make sure more serious problems do not occur. Talking to a therapist or a physician early only helps, not harms, in these types of situations.

Ultimately, there are many resources for those struggling with grief as they mourn the recent shooting. Oftentimes, it is helpful to speak to a doctor or friend to find out about local therapists, support groups, and more.

One major resource one can go to when struggling with mental health is Crisis Text Line, which has a partnership with Tennessee Suicide Prevention Network.

With Crisis Text Line, anyone can get help from one of the organization's volunteers by texting 741741.

Stay with FOX 17 News for continuing coverage.

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