Dr. Steven Dykstra of Milwaukee Co. Behavioral Health Division on how to address anxiety in children in concert attack aftermath
Whether they witnessed it firsthand or watched news accounts of video on social media or online, it's quite possible the attack in Manchester, England could be generating anxiety in the child in your life.
Dr. Steven Dykstra is Director of the Mobile Urgent Treatment Team with the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division.
Dr. Dykstra was a special live guest on the CBS 58 News at 4, sharing his expertise on helping children cope with trauma.
"It can impact children. Parents have to be careful to not allow children to indulge in the images too much," advised Dr. Dykstra. "And we should be particularly sensitive to children who have a prior history of trauma or anxiety. Plus, they were a close fan of this performer, might put them at greater risk of becoming affected by what went on."
The doctor say showing some sadness or empathy is a good thing. It is what makes us human.
But if the child starts missing sleep or opting out of activities, then it's gone too far.
There are no magic words or phrases when talking with children and Dr. Dykstra says adults have to keep an eye on their own emotions.
"If we're overwhelmed, we may not want to share that as closely with children who are at risk of being overwhelmed as well. It's important that we are in control of themselves."
Most importantly, make sure you're communicating a sense of hope and realism.
"We want to remind them of all the people around them and the safety they have most of the time. If children become preoccupied, can't get their mind off it, if it connects to past trauma or some other bad thing, it may be necessary to seek professional assistance."
BHD has a program especially designed for dealing with trauma, often times brought on by violent events.
It runs a 24-Hour Crisis line: (414) 257-7222
The clinic can be reached at (414) 257-7665
There are many resources available, too many to mention on t.v.
For more information click here