Psychologist recommends parents address their feelings after latest deadly school shooting

Gunman shot and killed 3, critically injured 5 at Michigan State University

The fear of gun violence in schools can leave students and parents with crippling anxiety. Two victims of Monday’s mass shooting at Michigan State University were laid to rest Saturday, leaving the school with a haunting fear moving forward, especially since it was the school’s first shooting.

The shooting also left five others in critical condition, one of which is currently hospitalized in stable condition.

Experiencing violence like this can lead to paralyzing anxiety, which can limit how a person chooses to live.

According to a 2019 American Psychological Association survey, about a third of American adults said fear of a mass shooting prevents them from going out to public places or events.

Psychologist Dr. Tracy Alloway advises parents to address their feelings first and then their child’s feelings.

“Be aware that your child’s anxiety may be routed in your emotional regulation as well,” Alloway said.

A child or a college student could share the same fears as adults about attending school, and Alloway recommends creating a plan to alleviate this feeling.

“One of the things we can do is shift our mindset and focus on what is concrete. What plans of action are in place? What does the school have as provisions? What can you as a parent offer to your child? What can a child do? Focusing on the concrete action plans can really alleviate things like this,” Alloway said.

Classes at MSU are scheduled to resume on Monday, which is one week after the deadly mass shooting on campus.

About the Author:

This native of the Big Apple joined the News4Jax team in July 2021.