San Antonio

Feeling traumatized by the Uvalde taking pictures? That’s regular. Here’s why, and what you can do about it.

SAN ANTONIO – Many individuals watching the tragedy that claimed the lives of 19 college students and two academics in Uvalde unfold say they really feel confused, offended, and even despair.

However, professionals say these closest to the trauma, like the victims’ households, probably really feel numb. That’s really regular.

Our our bodies reply when the ache is just too overwhelming and nothing is smart.

“What happens initially — when someone goes through a trauma, their brain sort of shuts down, and they go into automatic survival mode,” mentioned Ashley Jesse, Children’s Bereavement Center counseling supervisor.

It’s a stage of grief that leaves many individuals feeling numb or going by the motions.

“They really need to get through that stage, get through the funeral, get back into a routine, and that’s when we can look at some of those, perhaps, longer-term therapies,” Jesse mentioned.

Jesse endorsed many Sutherland Springs neighborhood members after the taking pictures in 2017 and nonetheless does immediately.


“Many times, people don’t seek help until many years after the incident has happened when they realize, ‘I’m having trouble sleeping. I’m having trouble eating. My mood has changed, or my child’s mood and behavior has changed.’ That’s when they realize ‘I’ve never properly dealt with this,’” Jesse defined.

She hopes individuals struggling in Uvalde will get assist now. That’s the place individuals like Ecumenical Center CEO Mary Beth Fisk are available in.

“Our counselors have been available for the families and the community at large and the law enforcement in Uvalde since yesterday afternoon and into last night, and we’re back here today,” Fisk mentioned.

Fisk and her group are working out of two areas in Uvalde, serving to individuals try and course of the unfathomable.

“Just this horrific sadness,” she mentioned. “We do need to work on a plan for a longer-term support system for this community.”


While federal and state funding is offered to maintain the care in Uvalde, there are different locations households can go to get assist with grief and trauma.

The Ecumenical Center and Children’s Bereavement Center each supply particular person and group remedy in a secure space.

There are methods to know in case your youngster or somebody you love wants counseling.

“If a parent notices a child is having trouble functioning, perhaps their mood has changed, their behavior has changed, or they’re having trouble sleeping or eating, maybe they’re having separation anxiety issues,” Jesse mentioned.

Parents and caregivers know the way onerous it’s to speak to their kids when tragedies like this occur.

“A young child may say, ‘Why do people do things like this? Am I safe?’ And I think we could tell them and share with them that, ‘Sometimes people do bad things and we don’t know why, but you’re safe, and you’re OK. Let’s talk about things that we can do to help you feel safer,’” Jesse mentioned.


“Listening to them, only giving them facts, limiting exposure to the media,” Fisk added.

Some of these issues go for adults too.

“The adults out there who may have past traumas of their own and could be triggered by this horrific event,” Fisk mentioned.

Jesse mentioned it’s regular for individuals to be traumatized by this taking pictures, even when they don’t have any direct connection to the tragedy itself.

“It shakes our sense of security and stability, so it can definitely affect anyone. When we have the sense that everything is out of control, it causes anxiety, it causes stress,” Jesse mentioned.

That’s why it’s essential to search out methods of managing that stress, comparable to:

  • exercising

  • making an attempt to eat properly

  • spending time with family members

  • loving in your pets

  • getting counseling

“Doing something you enjoy, it’s OK to do that. It’s especially important to do those things if we’re grieving and when we’re overwhelmed because it helps us regulate our emotions,” Jesse mentioned.

When speaking to somebody who has endured trauma, the neatest thing you can do is pay attention.


“Just being there for someone. You can say, ‘I’m sorry. This is a horrible thing that happened. I’m here to listen to you. I’m here to sit with you. You let me know what you need.’ And the person will let you know,” Jesse mentioned. “Try to step back from offering advice. We don’t know that person’s pain or that person’s grief, but we can offer to sit with them and just listen.”

Nothing helps like love, kindness, and empathy in instances like this.

If you need to communicate with a counselor, attain out now.

Reach the Ecumenical Center at (210) 616-0885 or go to the website.

The Children’s Bereavement Center can be reached at (210) 736-4847 or by way of their website.


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