Become one of the helpers

I don’t want to post on anything that starts with N today.  I have something more important on my mind today.

A good friend of mine has a 13-year-old daughter.  She’s a sweet kid – big smile, big heart.  I love her to pieces.  My friend posted on Facebook today that her daughter has developed extreme crowd anxiety.  She becomes shaky and pale and has difficulty not becoming hysterical.  After discussing this with her daughter, my friend discovered the cause of her daughter’s extreme anxiety.

What she learned is that there is a whole generation of kids who have grown up with not only the War on Terror but the threat of shootings and bombings in any given public place.  Places that should be fun.  Places that should be safe.  My friend’s daughter isn’t the only one.  Some of her daughter’s friends exhibit the same issues.

Before I go any further, let me just say that this is not a post about gun control or anything like that.  I have opinions just like anyone else.  This is not the place for them.

Even here in Joplin, the increase in severe weather in recent years and our experience with the devastating force that is an F5 tornado has caused many people – not just kids, though it is most noticeable among them – to have severe anxiety associated with stormy weather.

Someone posted a great idea in response to my friend’s story.  This person suggested that the best way for kids to deal with their fear of something bad happening is to learn how to respond to scary situations appropriately and (most importantly) helpfully.

Teach kids – teach EVERYBODY – to be among the helpers.  Knowledge is power, and once you have it, there’s less to be afraid of.

FEMA offers CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) training in every state.

Please check out the Citizen Corps website.  There’s information on CERT training as well as planning and preparing for a disaster.


5 thoughts on “Become one of the helpers

  1. Great post Stacey with sound advice. I’ve struggled my entire life from fear of crowds, and really people in general. I prefer to stay at home and interact with people in the safety of the internet where I feel I have some “protection” – though that’s probably a false sense of security given the hackers and what not out there. I’ve done the same as was suggested here – learn and be prepared. I might be on the borderline of paranoia when it comes to certain things, but knowing that I have the power to help and/or possibly prevent certain things, makes me able to deal with people on a face to face basis with less anxiety than normal. I still have the anxiety and I often find being out in public to be utterly exhausting but – it’s better than a full on panic attack I say.

    It’s great that you shared this information as I’m sure there are many other people out there that suffer from the same thing. And yes, the younger generation have it the worst as we humans find more and more ways to destroy each other.

    Give your friend’s little girl a big hug and let her know that she’s not alone in her fears. Sometimes, knowing that you’re not the only one helps a great deal. I know it does for me.

  2. This is an important post on a subject of increasing concern to many people. Whatever country we are in, feeling safe in public places is a concern to us all, whatever our ages. Being among the helpers is always a great place to be

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