Cambridge – American Red Cross mental health volunteers from across the state will be offering emotional support during the Boston Marathon bombing anniversary service at the Hynes Convention Center on April 15, as the city remembers those lost and hurt last year.
Last year’s events struck many in a number of ways. Fear, confusion and sadness were common reactions, and the anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing may trigger those same feelings.
“Boston is still healing from this tragedy,” said Christine Tebaldi, Disaster Mental Health lead for the Massachusetts Red Cross. “Those wounds might feel fresh on April 15, and the Red Cross is here to support the community’s emotional recovery.”
The American Red Cross offers the following tips to help you cope:
· Simplify your schedule before and several days after the anniversary.
· Limit media exposure to coverage of the bombing—TV, radio or newspapers.
· Schedule time with those you find supportive.
· Expect yourself to have reactions that mimic your reaction from a year ago, and know these are predictable and shouldn’t worry you. Remember what coping has worked for you in the past and implement those skills.
· If you have children in your life, speak with them in age appropriate ways about what they may experience. Know that behavioral regression in children is common as an anniversary reaction.
On Marathon Monday, more than 30 Red Cross Mental Health/Psychological volunteers will be stationed along the route and at Athlete’s Village to support individuals experiencing stress, anxiety or other emotional reactions.
People needing extra support are encouraged to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990, Text ‘TalkWithUs’ to 66746, or to call the Mayor’s Health Line at 617-534-5050 or 1-800-847-0710.
Those experiencing acute psychiatric distress can call the B.E.S.T. Team at 1-800-981-4357.