A psychologist gives advice on how Connecticut should respond to the Texas school shooting
Communities in Connecticut are at risk of mental health stress after the shooting in Uvalde, Texas, according to mental health professionals. Many experienced trauma from the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Laura Saunders is a psychologist at the Institute of Living in Hartford. She said anyone who’s experienced violent trauma or loss could be affected by the Texas shooting.
“We here in Connecticut have experienced an unimaginable tragedy in Sandy Hook," she said. "Those individuals in that community, and in the surrounding communities, and in fact in the state, have felt the pain and suffering in the senseless gun violence and loss of children’s lives.”
She said it’s especially tough to talk about it with children.
“Start with some open-ended questions, like what do you know? Is there anything you’re worried about?" Saunders said. "We have to be very careful as adults not to take our anxiety and our fears and project it onto our children.”
It’s been almost ten years since the shooting in Newtown, but Saunders said everyone processes grief and trauma differently.
“So we really need to look to how we can work together as a community," Saunders said. "Be kind to our neighbors, do things that we have control over, instead of focusing on things that we have no control over.”
Lorrie Rodrigue, the Newtown Schools Superintendent, said counseling teams will offer assistance to students at each of the district’s seven schools, including Newtown High School where survivors of the 2012 attack now attend classes.