Newswise — An onslaught of news from the aftermath of mass shootings to that of hurricanes leaves some Americans in a despondent funk, while others absorb what has happened and move on, according to a West Virginia University expert, who goes on to say that human beings who have been exposed to such events over time, even when they are not a part of them, are on a “spectrum” from experiencing vicarious traumatization to desensitization.

Heidi O’Toole
Visiting Instructor, Counseling
WVU Department of Counseling, Rehabilitation

Counseling and Psychology   

“How do we cope in such times? We need to focus on meeting our most basic of needs and number one is connection—secure connection and attachment with loved ones, creating safe and secure spaces and connections within our communities. The second is to hydrate, to eat, to rest. These needs are essential to stabilization, both in individuals and communities. And when individuals and communities adopt a lifestyle that supports this balance, then we will have the capacity to heal and thrive even in the face of such adversity and unrest. “                                            

Heidi O’Toole audio file

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West Virginia University experts can provide commentary, insights and opinions on various news topics. Search for an expert by name, title, area of expertise, or college/school/department in the Experts Database at WVU Today.