20 Aug 2014
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Words May Help Kids Recover From Shooting

Local therapist says what people say when a shooting, such as the Sandy Hook School shooting, is going on can help victims process the event and recover better afterwards.

Words May Help Kids Recover From Shooting


The nation is debating gun control laws in the wake of the Sandy Hook School shooting in Newtown, Conn. last week. 

But Seth Knobel, director of Niles Family Services, which provides counseling therapy and support, says that the human factor must also be taken into account when crisis plans are being formulated.

Earlier: Can Future Adam Lanzas Be Prevented? 

Obviously, people near a shooting situation must run or, if escape is impossible, hide or fight. But if they are hiding, it's good leadership to know what to say.

"Some of the teachers afterward remarked, 'we didn't know what to say to the kids to help them feel safe,'" Knobel said. "What can we do in the instant of the crisis?"

One teacher hid her kids in a closet and tried to quiet them by saying, "I just want all of you to know I love you," he recounted.

Knobel said that was exactly the right thing to do.

"I think those kids will have an easier time," he said. "There was less anxiety produced in the moment."

He believes the fact that the teacher stayed calm to the best of her abililty, reassured kids in the moment and told them they were loved, will help them recover more quickly.

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