Psychological impacts: Texas church mass shooting


WASHINGTON COUNTY, Tenn. - American flags are waving at half-staff in our area and across the country in mourning of the 25 victims of the mass church shooting in Texas. Experts say it's difficult to imagine what motivates a mass killer.

"People come to these points in their lives and they're motivated by different reasons that it's really hard for any of us to understand," says senior vice president of adult outpatient services at Frontier Health Giner Maseri.

The news causes more and more feelings of fear and uneasiness, leaving people on edge.

"People are finding themselves more anxious during the day. They might find themselves not sleeping well at night, may find themselves overeating, or not eating," Maseri says.

Positive coping strategies can help those suffering regain feelings of personal control.

"You can make yourself go out for a walk, you can make yourself reach out to family and friends and just say hi how are you, you can turn to positive coping skills that you've used in the past," Maseri says.

What's happened has experts in children services saying it's important to know how to talk with kids.

"Children who are school-age are exposed to a lot of things that are happening out there, and are probably going to hear about it even if we restrict media at home," says senior vice president of children services at Frontier Health Kathy Benedetto.

Open communication with kids is key.

"Even though we may feel anxious about what's happening in the world as adults, we have to be willing to say I'll protect you, I'll keep you safe to the extent that we can," says Benedetto.

Looking for positive outcomes can also help children cope and understand.

"Focus on the good. We had heroes yesterday, we had heroes in New York City, and we have many caring people throughout our nation and the world who do care about what happened," Benedetto says.

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