Sadness, fear, helplessness, and anxiety are all natural responses to the shooting in Orlando. You may be feeling all of these things or you may be feeling something completely different. Everyone feels and reacts to hate crimes and terrorist attacks differently and we want you to know there’s no right or wrong way to feel right now. But, if you feel overwhelmed by the event, we’ve put together a list of things that may help you cope with whatever you’re feeling.
Tips for Dealing with Disaster:
1. Limit exposure to media coverage. By getting some distance from the event, by turning off the television or not logging onto Facebook as often, you give yourself a chance to catch your breath and refocus your attention.
2. Identify and acknowledge the feelings that you may be experiencing. Understand that these feelings are a normal reaction to this event.
3. Remember that you have overcome adversity and trauma in the past. Try to remember what you did that helped you overcome the fear and helplessness in that situation. If it makes sense, do those things now.
4. Talk to others about your fears. Reach out to people who make you feel safe. If you want to be around people who are feeling similar things to you and you’re in a city that has vigils or other gatherings about the Orlando shooting, attend these events.
5. On the other hand, if you do not feel like talking, that is alright too. Some people find exercise and other active ways of releasing feelings more helpful.
6. Make efforts to maintain a usual routine.
7. Realize that the things you’re feeling now are not permanent. They will change. Also, try to be realistic about the time it takes to feel better. It may take a while and that’s okay.
8. Recognize that the nature of terrorist attacks and hate crimes create fear and uncertainty about the future. Continue to do enjoyable things. Avoid preoccupation with the things you cannot control to the extent that they prevent you from living your normal life. If you are unable to avoid preoccupation, consider seeing a mental health provider.
9. During times of stress, people who have depression and other mental illnesses may see their condition worsen. These people should contact their mental health care provider, if they feel it is necessary. If you don’t have a mental health care provider and are in New York City. Consider becoming a patient of Apicha Community Health Center by making an appointment here.
If you need additional support, please call the New York City Anti-Violence Project's hotline: (212) 714-1141
or The Fenway Institute Offers several options including:
- The LGBT Helpline at (888) 340-4528; Hours: Mon-Sat 6pm - 11pm ET
- Peer Listening Line (Ages 25 and Under) at (800) 399-PEER; Hourse: Mon-Sat 5:30pm-10pm ET