ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV.com) -- The tragic shooting in Connecticut is causing strong emotional reactions in St. Louis and mental health experts say that’s normal. Janis Ragsdale with Life Crisis Services, which operates a suicide and crisis hotline, told News 4 that anybody might feel anger after hearing news of the shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut and ask why school shootings keep happening. Parents may also experience worry about the safety of their own children.
Mental health experts say you shouldn’t be alarmed if you have an emotional response to the tragedy and that it could be tied to a tragedy in your own life. “People often think when something like this happens and they have a strong emotional reaction maybe there's something wrong with them. There’s not,” according to Bart Andrew, PhD, of Behavioral Health Response, which operates another crisis hotline. He said “You’re having a really normal reaction to this unusual event and it may be triggering other grief experiences, other sad, scary events that you've had in your life.” He said, if those emotions become overwhelming, that’s when you need to reach out to talk with someone.
There are several suicide and crisis hotlines in the St. Louis area but you don’t have to be on the edge of suicide to call to speak with a mental health professional. Although hotline operators ask you not to call if you just want to comment on the events in the news which have stirred up your emotions.
Behavioral Health Response
314-469-6644 or 800-811-4760
314-647-4357 or 888-784-2433
St. Louis County Youth Connection Helpline
314-628-2929 or 877-928-2929
St. Charles County Youth Connection Helpline
636-642-0642 or 855-642-0642
Kids Under Twenty-One
314-644-5886 or 888-644-5886