Caresse Jackman

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Video: Predicting and Preventing Violence

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI)- Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, and now Webster, NY. Just a few of what seems to be a devastating trend of mass killings in our country where people are left wondering why? And more importantly, could we have done anything to stop it.

Christopher Gosa is an adult therapist at community counseling in Columbus and says oftentimes, it’s hard to predict how people will behave.

“To predict behavior is extremely difficult. Usually, the best predictors of future behavior is past behavior. If people have acted out violently in the past, that many indicate that they will act out again in the future,” says Gosa.

There are a few key warning signs to look out for. One is a change in normal behavior.

“If you notice someone who was outgoing and very talkative and then suddenly their behavior changes and they’re isolated and stop talking. That would be a sign to check in on that person and make sure they’re okay. Because a lot of times we overlook those signs,” says Gosa.

If you’re a parent and your child’s behavior suddenly changes, pay close attention to their grades.

“If they were an A student and all of a sudden they start to bringing home F’s. That’s a sign,” says Gosa.

And if you see someone you know behaving oddly, don’t ignore it or just talk about it get them help immediately.

“Don’t wait until something happens to say, ‘oh I did notice this or I did notice that’, you take action then,” says Gosa.

By doing so, you may just help save a life.

Below are a list of tips from Community Counseling Services that discuss dealing with mental illness and talking to your children about tragedy.

 

COMMUNITY COUNSELING SERVICES

A Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center

Contact: Martha Allen Wooten, Marketing

Cell: 662-295-0873

Work: 662-327-3933

Email: mwooten@ccsms.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Knowledge is power over Mental Illness!

Mental health problems – such as depression, anxiety, impulse control and misuse of alcohol and other drugs – are shockingly common in the United States. In fact, more than one in four American adults will have a mental health problem in a year. According to data collected by the World Health Organization, mental disorders rank as the biggest health problem in North America, ahead of both cardiovascular disease and cancer with depression leading as the biggest single cause disease burden. Mental illness is far too prevalent to be discussed so seldom.

With mental illness, knowledge is power. Knowledge of the disease is important for the person diagnosed with the health problem and crucial too for the caregivers, community leaders, law enforcement, front line staff, and educators. Community Counseling Services believes everyone should have some working knowledge of how to handle a mental health crisis and is now offering classes in Mental Health First Aid.

Sometimes, first aid isn’t a bandage, or CPR, or the Heimlich, or calling 911. Sometimes, first aid is YOU! You are more likely to encounter someone — friend, family member, coworker, neighbor, or member of the community — in an emotional or mental crisis than someone having a heart attack.

Mental Health First Aid is a 12-hour training certification course which teaches participants a five-step action plan to assess a situation, select and implement interventions and secure appropriate care for the individual, the certification program introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health problems, builds understanding of their impact and overviews common treatments. Thorough evaluations in randomized controlled trials and a quantitative study have proved the CPR-like program effective in improving trainees’ knowledge of mental disorders, reducing stigma and increasing the amount of help provided to others. Anyone can take the 12-hour Mental Health First Aid course — first responders, students, teachers, leaders of faith communities, human resources professionals, and caring citizens.

Sometimes, the best first aid is you. Take the course, save a life, strengthen your community. For more information about the Mental Health First Aid offered by Community Counseling Services contact Martha Wooten by calling 662-327-3933 or by emailing her at mwooten@ccsms.org.

Community Counseling Services is a comprehensive community mental health center providing quality mental health through diversified services. For more information about programs, call your Community Counseling Services County Office or visit www.ccsms.org. Trained and caring professionals can be reached after hours to provide counseling and support when needed by calling Toll Free 888-943-3022 or 662-418-5403.

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COMMUNITY COUNSELING SERVICES

A Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center

County Office Contact Information

Choctaw: 662.285.6225

100 Old Sturgis Road, Ackerman

Clay: 662.494.7060

217 Court Street, West Point

Lowndes: 662.328.9225

1001 Main Street, Columbus

Noxubee: 662.726.5042

200 W King Street, Macon

Oktibbeha: 662.323.9318

302 N Jackson Street, Starkville

Webster: 662.258.8147

1660 Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard, Eupora

Winston: 662.773.9377

507 West Main Street, Louisville

 

 

COMMUNITY COUNSELING SERVICES

A Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center

Contact: Martha Allen Wooten, Marketing

Cell: 662-295-0873

Work: 662-327-3933

Email: mwooten@ccsms.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Talking to Children in the wake of Tragedy

With multiple bomb threats called in at area Court Houses for 12.12.12 and after last week’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, parents are left wondering how to explain the senseless act of violence to their children, whether they are kindergarteners or teens. Traumatic situations like these evoke many emotions—sadness, grief, helplessness, anxiety, and anger. Reinforcing safety after this tragedy is important for children. Community Counseling Services wants to help parents and caregivers understand how to talk to children and teens about these tragic events. Helping a child process their feelings will in turn promote emotional healing.

When talking to children, try to follow these basic guidelines:

• Start the conversation. Talk about the shooting with your child. Not talking about it can make the event even more threatening in your child’s mind. Silence suggests that what has occurred is too horrible even to speak about or that you do not know what has happened.

• What does your child already know? Start by asking what your child/teen already has heard about the events from the media and from friends. Listen carefully; try to figure out what he or she knows or believes.

• Gently correct inaccurate information. If your child/teen has inaccurate information or misconceptions, take time to provide the correct information in simple, clear, age-appropriate language.

• Encourage your child to ask questions, and answer those questions directly. Your child/teen may have some difficult questions about the incident. For example, she may ask if it is possible that it could happen at their school; she is probably really asking whether it is “likely.” The concern about re-occurrence will be an issue for caregivers and children/teens alike. While it is important to discuss the likelihood of this risk, she is also asking if she is safe. This may be a time to review plans your family has for keeping safe in the event of any crisis situation. Do give any information you have on the help and support the victims and their families are receiving. Let her know that the person responsible is under arrest and cannot hurt anyone else.

• Limit media exposure. Limit your child’s exposure to media images and sounds of the shooting, and do not allow your very young children to see or hear any TV/radio shooting-related messages. Even if they appear to be engrossed in play, children often are aware of what you are watching on TV or listening to on the radio.

• Common reactions. Children’s and teen’s reactions to the shooting are strongly influenced by how parents, relatives, teachers, and other caregivers respond to the event. They often turn to these adults for information, comfort, and help. There are many reactions that are common after mass violence. These feelings generally diminish with time, but knowing about them can help you to be supportive, both of yourself and your children.

• Feelings of anxiety, fear, and worry about the safety of self and others

• Fears that another shooting may occur, staying focused on the shooting (talking repeatedly about it)

• Increased sensitivity to sounds (loud noises, screaming, sirens)

For more information regarding how to talk to children that have experienced a tragedy, detecting mental illness and where to seek treatment, contact the Community Counseling Services office in your community or visit www.ccsms.org. Trained and caring professionals can be reached after hours to provide counseling and support when needed by calling Toll Free 888-943-3022 or 662-418-5403. Community Counseling Services is a comprehensive community mental health center providing quality mental health through diversified services.

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COMMUNITY COUNSELING SERVICES

A Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center

County Office Contact Information

Choctaw: 662.285.6225

100 Old Sturgis Road, Ackerman

Clay: 662.494.7060

217 Court Street, West Point

Lowndes: 662.328.9225

1001 Main Street, Columbus

Noxubee: 662.726.5042

200 W King Street, Macon

Oktibbeha: 662.323.9318

302 N Jackson Street, Starkville

Webster: 662.258.8147

1660 Veteran’s Memorial Boulevard, Eupora

Winston: 662.773.9377

507 West Main Street, Louisville