Monday, December 23, 2013

Healing From School Violence

Written and Reposted with permission by Guest Blogger: Jess Stohlmann Rainey

“In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.” – Marianne Williamson

Today the staff at the Carson J Spencer Foundation grieves with the faculty, staff, families, and students affected by the tragic events at Arapahoe High School. With the rest of the country, our hearts and minds are turned toward Littleton. Tragedy can make communities and schools feel fractured, as if something has broken and can’t quite be made whole again. By pulling together, offering hope, and focusing on healing, we can begin to collectively mend the injuries tragic events like this cause.
When hope is hard to find, we rely on the strength of the community to hold onto hope for us. As compassionate citizens, we can lend strength to people when they falter, be a shoulder for tears, and look forward to see a light in the darkness. Hope and comfort are most important when they are most elusive. As we begin to heal, lean on each other. Open your arms and your hearts. If you are concerned for someone or concerned for yourself, seek help.
As we cope with this act of violence, there are a few things we can do right now to help us heal (adapted from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline):
  1. Talk about the tragedy. Even if you weren’t directly affected, you may feel anxiety, fear, anger, or deep sadness. If you don’t have someone to confide in, you can call 1-800-273-TALK(8255) any time.
  2. Don’t watch (too much) news. Being immersed in the media’s portrayal of the most difficult parts of this tragedy can be overwhelming.
  3. Take care of yourself. Using positive coping methods will help your body and your mind deal with stress.
  4. Help Others. Promote lifesaving services like the Suicide Prevention Lifeline (1-800-273-8255) and the Disaster Distress Hotline (1-800-985-5990). Participate in vigils or volunteer in your community.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops – at all -
-Emily Dickenson

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