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Coping with Traumatic Events

The shooting at the Fort Hood military installation in Texas sadly adds to the list of similar frightening events in the last five years in which unexpected violence, in places thought to be safe, has led to multiple deaths. Traumatic losses, manmade and natural, test the resilience of those who experience them. How individuals react to national crises and traumatic events, and the factors that promote resilience or increase the risk for problems following trauma, is an important area of research for the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

There are many different responses to crisis. Most survivors have intense feelings after a traumatic event but quickly recover; others have more difficulty — especially those who have had previous traumatic experiences, who are faced with ongoing stress, or who lack support from friends and family — and will need additional help. This website has information and resources on trauma, coping and resilience.

The following are resources that may offer information and assistance for people coping with traumatic events, either directly, or indirectly, as a result of intensive news media coverage.

In the videos below, Drs. Robert Heinssen and Farris Tuma discuss NIMH research in the areas of traumatic stress reactions, specifically mental health issues among U.S. service members. What we learn from the military experience can help us understand stress risk predictions for the entire population.

Read transcript.

Read transcript.

NIMH Publications

Resources