Talking with Your Teen About Active Shooter Drills

Raleigh mental health servicesParents across the country have watched in horror as the number of school shootings has surged in the last few months. Campuses are tightening up security and preparing students for the worst with active shooter drills and preparation for violence in schools. Not knowing where the next shooting will be and figuring out how to navigate the need for preparedness has left administrators, parents, teachers, and students fearful and frustrated. Addressing the complex issues surrounding an active shooter situation with your teen can be challenging. Searching for Raleigh mental health services for teens? Call Legacy now.

The shooting in Parkland, Florida sparked an outcry from young people urging lawmakers to adopt better gun control laws and revise the criteria for gun sales. Teens across the country have taken to social media to lend their voices to the conversation and give their opinion on what can be done to help protect them in school and promote a positive learning environment. Unfortunately, that learning environment now includes preparations for an active shooter. Here are some tips on talking to your teen about what to do in an active shooter situation.

Review the School's Plan
Once your teen has completed their active shooter drills at school, ask them about the drill and review the information that they recieved. Ask your child how they are feeling about the drill. Listen to their fears and concerns with an open mind. Your teen is old enough to understand the severity of these drills and to comprehend the fact that an active shooter situation can mean injury or death for them or those around them. For many, thinking about these things will cause anxiety and depression and may result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Talk About the Warning Signs
Remind your teen about the importance of reporting strange behaviors, threats, or other warning signs to the appropriate adults. Seeing something and saying something has the power to prevent school violence.

Run, Hide, Fight
Talking with your teen about what to do when there is an active shooter is crucial for their survival. While some kids have natural reactive skills, others will need to talk through different scenarios in order to feel less anxious about what to do in this situation. Review the run, hide, fight protocol with your teen and empower them to use their intuition and reassess the situation continuously. Helping your child mentally prepare for the event could help them survive.

Some schools are participating in intense shooting drills that involve blanks being shot in the school to simulate the sound of gunfire and law enforcement clearing the building room by room. Teens and children who are involved in these intense drill scenarios may feel anxious, experience insomnia, or exhibit signs of PTSD afterward. Be aware of your child's mental state and involve professionals in the care of your child as needed.

Raleigh Mental Health Services for Teens

If you, or someone you love, have been the victim of violence and are struggling with PTSD, anxiety, or depression, we can help. Thousands of clients have found new ways to cope with their mental illness with Legacy Freedom of Raleigh. Call or click today to connect with confidential and compassionate mental health care. Getting started is easier than you think! Take control of your mental health and overcome your challenges with Legacy Freedom's affordable Raleigh mental health services.


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