NAMI: A mass shooting can have a profound effect on a community

Written by on April 23, 2021

NAMI: A mass shooting can have a profound effect on a community

By Brittany Sweeney

April 23, 2021

Photo by Andrew Neel from Pexels

The shooting at a Wawa in Upper Macungie Township this week may leave some in the Lehigh Valley feeling on edge and scared. An Allentown truck driver died and the suspected shooter took his own life. 

Listen to the story.

Horrific events, like the one on April 21, can leave an impression on those living in the area of where they take place and have a profound mental impact on a community in its wake.

Dr. Dennis Geiger, a board member at the Lehigh Valley chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI.

“That means that we’re going to be scanning our environment, we’re going to be on alert, we’re going to be wondering and worrying and we’re going to be more stressed out and more anxious overall,” Geiger says.

The psychologist says factors like the pandemic and the number of shootings lately have many people thinking about their own safety.

Dr. Geiger suggests people stay on top of their mental health by staying informed about what’s happening around them and by checking in with friends and family to reassure one another. 

He also says parents should talk to their children and help them feel safe.

“Parents indeed do need to assure their children that they are safe, particularly that the parent is going to watch out for them and make sure they’re not put in harm’s way and that these incidents are isolated and uncommon in our general area,” he says. 

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