Resources to Cope in the Aftermath of Violence

From Helen Robbins-Meyer, Chief Administrative Officer

Out shopping. At a festival. In an entertainment district. All places we could easily be ourselves. All places we’ve just watched turned into scenes of horrific violence.

We grieve with these communities and all those who have suffered losses. Every mass shooting leaves us heartbroken. Several in quick succession compounds those feelings, causing despair and anxiety. It’s absolutely normal to be caught in a mix of emotions.

If you’re feeling distressed, it’s not just acceptable to ask for help – we strongly encourage it. Our Employee Assistance Program is there for this very purpose. Professionally trained counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s free for all employees and completely confidential. Please don’t hesitate to call 888-777-6665 or visit the EAP website for more information. That link is always on the InSite home page. (Sheriff’s Department sworn staff has a separate service at 800-222-9691.) If you supervise employees, please reemphasize this service is available.  

Also, remember you can bring up concerns with your primary care doctor. Your mental health is part of your overall health, and your doctor should be able to direct you to the appropriate help.

At the same time, these attacks are a reminder that violence occurs in all settings and we need to be prepared. The message that you’ve heard before, but bears repeating, is “See Something, Say Something.” Be alert and report any suspicious behavior to your supervisor. Never assume somebody else must’ve checked it out or told someone.  

We have an Employee Security page with several resources involving active shooters, including the video “Run, Hide, Fight.” Departments can also request to have our Sheriff’s Department give an in-person presentation or conduct a drill on active shooters.

Every County department and facility has a disaster response plan. Make sure you’re familiar with the one that applies to you.

In the aftermath of mass violence, hopelessness can set in. We can counter that by taking positive actions to be prepared and by committing to look out for the safety of ourselves, our colleagues and customers.