Resources in Response to the Orlando Tragedy - Special Edition PTSD Monthly Update, June 2016

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PTSD Monthly Update

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For Providers

Special Issue on Traumatic Event Response


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Resources in Response to the Orlando Tragedy

Traumatic Events and PTSD

different people's hands together on top of each other

The extent of the Orlando mass shooting has shocked and deeply touched individuals across the globe. Of all disasters, mass violence and terrorism is linked with higher rates of traumatic stress reactions and for longer durations.

People with a connection to the shooting (or to a similar type of event) may experience grief, fear, anger, helplessness, and sadness. They may find themselves thinking about what happened during the day and have trouble sleeping at night.

These are common reactions early on, but if they go on for more than a few weeks or are overwhelming it is important to seek help. Learn more about what to expect and when to seek help.

Index of Resources for Public and Professionals

Resources for Survivors and Their Families, Veterans and Community Members

What to expect after experiencing a traumatic event

Learn what to expect after experiencing a traumatic event like a mass shooting. Traumatic events impact not only the direct survivors, but also their families and loved ones, as well as the larger community.

Learn what you can do to help yourself

Everyone who lives though a sudden trauma is affected by it. Learn what you can do to help yourself.

Find out about ways to get help

Effective treatment is available. Some people will not get better on their own. People with the greatest exposure to the event (those in the nightclub or who lost a loved one) are at risk for developing PTSD.

If you are continuing to experience distress, and it is making it hard for you to do the things you want to do, get help.

Need immediate help?

  • Call the Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for support and counseling.
  • Call the Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255 if you feel like you are in a crisis.

Other ways to get help

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For Providers

Resources for Responders and Health Care Providers

Following disasters or terrorism, initial intervention involves reducing primary distress and offering practical assistance.

The information and resources below will help first responders and mental health providers respond to both the immediate and longer terms needs of survivors.

Learn what you can do to take care of yourself

Many individuals who work with trauma survivors experience an enhanced sense of meaning, respect for the strength of others, and connection with humanity. But long hours in the immediate aftermath of a sudden trauma can take its toll on responders. Learn what you can do to take care of yourself.

The same resources survivors can use to manage symptoms can also be helpful for providers and other first responders. See:

  • PTSD Coach App - Use this mobile app to learn about and cope with symptoms that commonly occur after trauma. Available in iOS and Android. Also see the iOS French Canadian version.
  • PTSD Coach ONLINE - Choose from 17 tools and learn to manage trauma reminders, sleep issues and other troubling symptoms following trauma. Available to anyone on the internet.

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The National Center for PTSD

The National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, has a history of providing public education as well as professional consultation and training during times of national disaster, with involvement in the Nation's response to the Loma Prieta earthquake, 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, hurricane Katrina, the Newtown, CT. school shooting, and the Boston bombing.

Beyond immediate assistance, The Center has conducted disaster-related research and, with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, developed interventions such as Psychological First Aid and Skills for Psychological Recovery.

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Produced by VA’s National Center for PTSD - Executive Division
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