Helping your children deal with tragedy
In light of the tragic shooting that happened in the Lowellville School District, we reached out to the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board's Executive Director Duane Piccirilli for guidance on how parents should discuss the incident with their children, and about coping with tragedy.
Piccirilli said the parents and guardians of children should proactively speak with their children about what they saw, and what they are feeling or experiencing, and parents need to be direct with their questions as well.
"Parents need to ask their children if their child is feeling sad or depressed or if they have ever had thoughts of harming themselves," Piccirilli added. He said that lots of times children feel uncomfortable about talking about mental health issues, but are more responsive if a parent asks.
If students, parents, school staff, or members of the community need help in dealing with the events of today, there are multiple options in place to help.
If you are experiencing sadness and need to talk, you can text the keyword 4hope to 741 741 to be connected to a trained Crisis Counselor.
Any person may need help in coping with a stressful situation and speaking with a trained counselor who will listen and respond in a method that is private, secure and confidential.
The Crisis Text Line is a free, confidential service available 24/7 via text on mobile devices.
Parents or students may also call 211 or visit the helpnetworkneo.org for additional guidance.
Piccirilli said "If a friend tells you they are depressed or having thoughts of harming themselves, tell an adult, tell someone, as it will save a life."
Piccirilli said that kids will be on social media tonight, so parents need to make time to have the talk today.
While there will be no school in the district tomorrow, the Lowellville School will be open Friday at 8 a.m. for grief counseling for students who would like to talk.