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Social Worker Greg Carly Offers Advice To Help Children Deal With Connecticut Shooting [AUDIO]

Shooting At Elementary School In Newtown, Connecticut
Douglas Healey/Getty Images

On Thursday’s edition of Lubbock’s First News Greg Carly, licensed clinical social worker with the VA, joined Tom Collins and Laura Mac to discuss how to help children deal with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the wake of the Connecticut shooting.

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After the tragedy that occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Carly said it’s not uncommon to see people suffering from PTSD, as well as “secondary trauma” from watching everything unfold on television. However, he warned that treating it is a very tricky process, especially when it involves the children who experienced the tragedy first hand. He said the most important thing counselors can do to help those children is to make them feel as safe and secure as possible.

“Initially, I think the best thing, especially for children, is just to put them back in an environment where they’re familiar and where they feel safe. I think a lot of times we make the mistake of just pushing them right into a counselor, and that’s not always the best thing…they need to be around people that they know and trust, where they feel safe and warm and comforted.

For the children who watched the shooting on TV, Carly said it may be best to talk it out with them while trying to avoid the gory details. If it seems like the child is not handling it well, he suggests counseling might be an option as well.

Carly also talked about how mental health played a role in the shootings, saying that mental health diagnoses have changed over the years and that even today, it is still a very difficult thing to detect and to treat.

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