Reflecting and discussing the Boston tragedy: A Conversation with the Ohio Crisis Response Team

Boston Quote ImageOur thoughts and prayers go out to everyone affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon on Monday. Please read the following message from our race director, Darris Blackford, and join us Monday, April 22nd, to discuss and share your reactions to the tragedy.

Marathon family,

Earlier today, I left a message on our Facebook page asking you to wear yellow and blue during your morning run on Saturday in honor of the colors of the Boston Marathon. I hope it will help a little bit with healing, plus bring our family together in an outpouring of support for those whose lives were lost, those hurt, and all of us affected by this tragedy.

In addition to wearing yellow or blue this weekend to band together, we also have an idea related to what happened in Boston, especially for those of you who ran on Monday, have done the Boston Marathon or our race before, or even if it will be your first time this year.

The Ohio Crisis Response Team reached out to me today, and offered to lead a discussion about the tragedy. Would you be interested in coming together as a group to discuss our reactions to the Boston tragedy? I know I would. (Or, if you prefer, they will talk to any of us one-on-one at the discussion.)

We are going to hold this event on Monday, April 22, at 6:30 p.m. at our headquarters, the Athletic Club of Columbus, 136 E. Broad Street. We will provide light refreshments, water and soft drinks. Parking is free at Downtown parking meters after 6 p.m., or there are pay parking lots in the area.

We do need to get a count of people who want to attend, so we ask that you RSVP here.

Until then, we ask that you please continue to share your support for the Boston Marathon family and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Until Monday,

Darris

If you are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress, or looking for additional resources to help with healing, please also read the following message from the Boston Athletic Association about post-traumatic stress management:

DEAR RUNNER AND VOLUNTEERS

We are all overwhelmed by the horrific and tragic events at the Boston Marathon last Monday.

Events of mass violence can trigger overwhelming feelings of anxiety, anger or fear. United States Public Health Service, Mental Health Team has arrived in Boston and will be available for in person individuals and group sessions. We will have more specifics for you tomorrow.

The Federal Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, can provide immediate counseling to anyone who needs help in dealing with the aftermath of this tragedy. This free, confidential, and multilingual crisis support service is also available via SMS (text TalkWithUs to 66746) to anyone experiencing psychological distress as a result of this event. Callers and texters are connected to trained and caring professionals from crisis counseling centers in the network. The Helpline staff provides confidential counseling, referrals to local services that are immediately available, and other needed support services.

Through the Massachusetts Departments of Mental and Public Health, we have assembled many other resources to help runners, volunteers, responders, and spectators manage emotion, grief and stress in the aftermath of a traumatic and violent event.

Signs and symptoms many people frequently experience following a traumatic stress incident:

* Trouble sleeping or having bad dreams
* Recurring images or flashbacks
* Strong emotions such as anger, guilt, anxiety, fear or sadness
* Flatness or disinterest in life or routine
* Irritability
* Startled easily, feeling cautious
* Avoiding reminders related to the event
* Headaches, diarrhea, nausea, or other developing physical ailments
* Difficulty remembering the event
* Substance use increases

Dealing with the Effects of Trauma – A Self-Help Guide: This Federal Disaster Distress guide provides more in-depth information on recovering from a traumatic event and is geared toward those whose reactions may be lingering.

Effects of Traumatic Stress after Mass Violence, Terror, or Disaster: Developed by the National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, this publication provides information regarding normal reactions to abnormal situations.  It includes descriptions of common traumatic stress reactions, problematic stress responses, and symptoms  of PTSD and acute stress disorder.

Tips for Survivors of a Traumatic Event – Managing Your Stress: This tip sheet outlines the common signs of stress after a disaster and provides stress reduction strategies.

Tips for Talking with and Helping Children and Youth Cope after a Disaster or Traumatic Event:  This fact sheet helps parents and teachers recognize and address problems in children and teens affected by the trauma after an act of violence.  It describes signs of stress reactions that are common in young trauma survivors at different ages, and offers tips on how to help.

Tips for Managing and Preventing Stress – A Guide for Emergency Response and Public Safety Workers: This fact sheet gives organizational and individual tips for stress prevention and management for emergency response workers and public safety workers. It describes normal reactions to a disaster, signs of the need for stress management, and ways to handle stress.

Anyone with information about the explosions should call the Boston Police at 800-494-TIPS. The FBI has also established a tip line, 800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324), prompt #3, for anyone who has information or visual images regarding the explosions.

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