University of Michigan psychology professor Sandra Graham-Bermann, whose research includes traumatic stress reactions in children exposed to violence such as the school shooting in Michigan Nov. 30, says schools and parents can offer support to the students during the grieving process, but long-term symptoms that become post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may require professional counseling.
Your research looks at traumatic stress reactions in children exposed to violence. In general, what would trigger someone not in that violent situation?
There are many aspects concerning who is most affected by school shootings. Being involved in a school shooting incident is a traumatic experience, and it is worse for those who were injured, those who were threatened with death, those who were close to someone who was killed or injured, and for their families. But even just knowing that it happened in your school is traumatic. People who have already suffered traumatic events in their lives can be retraumatized by just hearing about this kind of senseless violence.
Watch and read the interview at Michigan News.