MDHHS offers mental health resources following Oxford school shooting | WJMN

Michigan. (WJMN) – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) extends its deepest condolences to all those affected by the tragic shooting at Oxford High School yesterday. Below they feature resources to support anyone affected by this terrible event.

“The school shooting is something we hope will never happen anywhere, but it happened tragically in our state this week,” said Elizabeth Hertel, director of MDHHS. “While no parent or child should go through this, it is important to pay attention to the mental health needs of survivors and those affected by this tragic event. We encourage parents and caregivers to use available resources while their children deal with grief and address this traumatic event.”

According to the National Child Stress Network, shootings are extremely traumatic experiences, and dealing with them can be stressful. The reactions of children and adolescents are influenced by how adults including teachers, parents, and other caregivers respond. anxiety, fear, anxiety for the safety of oneself and others; fear of another shooting; changes in behavior such as increased activity levels, decreased concentration, and increased irritability; physical complaints such as headache, stomach aches or other aches and pains; Difficulty concentrating and an increased sensitivity to sounds can be common reactions after dealing with traumatic experiences such as gunfire.

“In the wake of the tragic Oxford High School shooting, our hearts are broken for the community and families struggling to understand the loss of their beloved children and the burden of injuries – physical and mental – to so many others affected by yesterday’s events,” said Dr. Debra Benalls, Medical Director of Forensic and Behavioral Health Programs at MDHHS. “As we move forward step by step as a society, the questions and concerns can be overwhelming. With rates of anxiety and depression already soaring in the context of the pandemic, a tragedy like what happened at Oxford High School needs to be addressed, and people will need to communicate their concerns, even if they are reluctant to do so. There is no shame in accessing support for stress and trauma, and we encourage those who need this support to reach out to a healthcare provider or call 2-1-1 for local resources that can meet your needs.”

Take the steps below to talk to your children about violence and help them overcome tragedy:

  1. Reassure children that they are safe. Validate their feelings and let them know that all is well when tragedy strikes.
  2. Make time to talk. Be patient and let the kids guide the amount of information you share through the questions they ask. Young children may need other activities such as drawing or playing to identify and express feelings.
  3. Retain developmentally appropriate interpretations based on age.
  4. Review safety procedures both at school and at home.
  5. Monitor your child’s emotional state. Note that children may not be able to verbally express their grief and may need the help of a mental health professional.
  6. Limit watching events on TV.
  7. Keep a normal routine. A regular schedule can aid in recovery and help manage grief.

Residents can call or text 844-44-MICAL (844-446-4225) 24/7 for free behavioral health crisis triage, support, resource information, and referrals to local services. The chat is also available through

To learn more about talking to your kids about safety, visit

To learn more about talking to your children about violence, visit

If you or a loved one is concerned about suicide, call 800-273-8255 or visit

To help your kids deal with distress after a shooting, visit


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