Recent string of shootings hit close to home

Published: May. 25, 2022 at 3:24 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - Uvalde, Texas where the shooting took place is about 2,000 miles away from Maine.

That doesn’t stop the feelings of grief or sadness from reaching us here.

A supermarket, a church, and now a school. The most recent string of shootings across the country are hitting close to home in Maine.

Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas(Google Maps)

“One of the things that makes these tragedies difficult, in addition to just the human suffering, is that we can all kind of imagine ourselves right there, and you start to think about, ‘What if that were me?’ Psychologically, that’s how it kind of gets inside of us and starts to make us anxious,” said Dr. David Prescott, licensed psychologist.

Prescott says any feelings of anxiety, stress, or depression you may have as a result of the shootings are completely normal.

“I worry more if we become numb to these things and if we feel anxious or sad or angry about it, so the fact that we’re feeling something is probably good, although difficult,” said Prescott.

President of the Maine Education Association Grace Leavitt says she’s struggling with the news.

Leavitt says a number of teachers have reached out to express similar feelings.

“Certainly the degree of sadness is probably first and foremost, but also a concern for safety for their students, for themselves, for their families if they also have children. I know that parents must be feeling that as well,” said Leavitt.

The MEA has sent out resources for how to talk to students and help them understand what’s happening.

“Something that’s developmentally appropriate and to just try to reassure students that educators are there to do everything we can to support them and keep them safe, and we will continue to do that,” said Leavitt.

Leavitt says the MEA is calling on lawmakers to explore every avenue to solve this problem once and for all, a great example of of what Prescott calls active coping.

“There are so many opportunities in this world to do good things or to contribute in a small way, and most people feel better if they can say, I did that as a way to deal with my stress,” said Prescott.

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