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American Red Cross Offers Advice to Cope With Virginia Tech Tragedy


WASHINGTON Following the tragic event at the Virginia Tech campus, the American Red Cross is one of many organizations in the local community offering support at this time. Trained relief workers, mostly mental health workers, are at Virginia Tech to support the efforts of local Red Cross volunteers who have been offering emotional support, food and beverages to students, loved ones and first responders.

Mental health services provided by the American Red Cross include all services that help survivors, family members, university and community members cope with the trauma. A strong network of compassionate support also helps first responders and local officials handle the needs of the community following a tragedy of this nature. This network includes mental health support and psychological first aid; spiritual care teams; food and beverages and access to local resources that can help those affected for the longer term.

Following a tragic event, people anticipate the latest news and updates about relief efforts. Such events are upsetting, as images and eye-witness accounts continue to play in the media and other public forums - and can cause fear, anxiety, nightmares and other issues. With steady news coverage and community memorials and other ceremonies anticipated to occur, the American Red Cross urges everyone to take the necessary precautions to cope with emerging trauma:

Talk with others about what happened
Create opportunities for children and young adults to talk with each other about what happened - and how they are feeling
Consider the benefits of talking with a counselor who has specialized training in post-traumatic reactions and can help individuals and families understand and cope with their feelings.

Remember to take time away from the news make sure to continue daily routines, spend time with loved ones and focus efforts away from the tragedy.


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