In the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting and Edmonton attack, CBC's Jill Morgan sat down with psychologist Dr. Murray Abrams. He specializes in trauma and offered tips and strategies for people who are directly or indirectly affected by devastating events.
"It's understandably very distressing for someone to have been in that situation and seen what they have seen, or to be even close to people who have been there," said Dr. Murray Abrams, trauma psychologist.
Carla Unser and her husband Jay were at the Las Vegas Route 91 festival at the time of the shooting. The Moose Jaw couple spoke with CBC Saskatchewan after the incident, and said they planned to seek counseling when they returned home.
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Abrams said anyone experiencing increased anxiety, sleep problems and a change in normal behaviours - like avoiding everyday situations - should self-monitor their symptoms.
'Avoidance of these discussions, and situations and so on, is counterproductive and can contribute to a worsening picture,' - Dr. Murray Abrams, psychologist specializing in trauma
He recommended people try to stick to their usual routines.
"Get back to your life, use the support of friends and family members, and for most people these things get better with time," he said.
Although Abrams said seeing a psychologist or counsellor is beneficial, there are options for those who can't afford it. His go-to online tool is AnxietyBC's webpage. The site provides information and tools to help readers understand and manage anxiety.
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Speaking with children
Admittedly Abrams is not a child clinician, but spoke from his own experience.
"I would say things like: We don't understand completely why people sometimes do very bad things," he said. "They do happen, but for the most part the world, at least our world is a safe place that we have here in Canada."
"Avoidance of these discussions, and situations and so on, is counterproductive and can contribute to a worsening picture," he added.
Furthermore, he offered people should take breaks from social media.
"I have clients, some veterans, who they tell me how they take Facebook holidays because they don't want to hear the things they're hearing from some of their colleagues, on chat groups and things that people are posting."
If trauma symptoms do not alleviate over time, Abrams recommends seeking professional help from a counsellor or psychologist.