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Talking to kids about tragedy? Care for your own mental health First

Experts on managing your mental health after mass shootings
Experts on managing your mental health after mass shootings 02:01

UVALDE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) - The horror in Uvalde reminds us once again that no place is sacred; be it schools, grocery stores, or places of worship, no place in America is safe from gun violence.  

And as we all wrestle with how to manage this latest season of shared heartbreak and sorrow, some in-flight advice comes to mind: "In case of emergency, put on your own life vest first."

"Sometimes, it's almost like you get a little bit pessimistic," says Tanya Moreno. "Is this the world we are going to live in?"

Tanya Moreno, LPC.

Moreno is a licensed professional counselor with HHM Health, a community-based network of services supporting under resourced communities in Dallas. She says living with fear is taking a toll, and not just on our children.

"Especially with parents going through this. They're probably scared and they don't want to send their kids to school. Their kids are thinking, 'What if my school is next?' Parents thinking, 'What if my kids' school is next?'"

As a mental health expert, Moreno says that parents should remain calm and encouraging while responding to their children's fears. 

And she adds that it's also important for adults to carve out space to address their own.

"So, I do encourage people to just step out: check out from all of the negativity, some of the social media, some of the news, even to just to kind of take care of themselves," says Moreno.

That quiet time away from the constant reminders of the trauma could be as simple as taking a walk, or journaling. But she advises those hurting to not walk away from their normal routines and those supportive connections. 

Because even a conversation can be the boost you need.

"So, reaching out and being able to check in just to have a sense of comfort or sense of support," shares Moreno, "and that I'm not alone in this."

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