Coping with Tragic Events


After sudden tragic events, whether in our personal lives, our community, or in the news, it's important to remember that there are ways to cope. You do not need to deal with difficult times alone.

We each have different needs and different ways to cope. There are several things you can do to help care for yourself or a loved one after a tragic event.

Ways to Cope

    • Avoid overexposing yourself and loved ones to the incident via the news or social media
    • Work on meditation, breathing, and muscle relaxation techniques
    • Eat healthy foods
    • Exercise 
    • Get enough sleep
    • Participate in activities you don't find stressful, such as sports, hobbies or social events 
    • Participate in meaningful cultural activities, including spiritual communities
    • Talk to your healthcare provider or a mental health professional

Sharing reactions, thoughts, and emotions can be helpful for some people, but others may not want to share. Be sensitive to one another and speak in private, as not everyone will want to hear these conversations. It’s important to focus on personal experiences and established facts, not rumors. 

Talking to Children about Tragic Events

"When tragic events like the Las Vegas shooting occur, it can be hard to know what to say to your kids."
See this article with tips for parents. 

Sesame Street has videos and other resources for parents and children coping with traumatic experiences.

Call the Crisis Helpline

If you would like to speak with a professional, Ventura County Behavioral Health encourages residents to call the crisis team. The helpline is available for the community, to assist with any issues an individual may have.

They are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Help is available in English, Spanish, and other languages. 
    Ventura County Crisis Team

If you believe your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis and you need the assistance of law enforcement, call 911.

More Resources

National Disaster Distress Helpline:  
Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
Available 24/7

Also see:

    • Helping Children Cope 
    • Trauma
    • PTSD
    • Grief and Loss
    • Anxiety
    • Depression