The events that unfolded in Sydney will have a significant impact on many of us, leaving emotionally distressing and challenging feelings for some. . The events were seemingly random, unexpected and occurred where people were going about their daily activities believing that they were safe. These are some of the factors that trigger fear and threaten our core beliefs about our safety, even when we are on the other side of the continent.

It is possible to experience sadness, fear and sleep disturbance immediately or in a delayed fashion.

The distressing thoughts and feelings are normal and not a sign of personal weakness, but if they persist or significantly impact on returning to usual daily activities it may be necessary to find additional supports to settle the symptoms.

Media coverage at such times is important to provide information about where to go for those nearby, information about those affected and when it is safe.

Reading and watching the media coverage and following what is happening on social media can also  lead to worry, anxiety and distress for many of us and not be helpful.

It is normal to feel sadness and anxiety for those involved and their loved ones . The ongoing media coverage can trigger more significant feelings of anxiety , sadness and worry, and this can be especially true of children. Children often do not have a good understanding of what they are reading about or witnessing in the media or hearing from their peers and family and they may benefit from reducing their exposure to the media , which tends to focus on the more frightening aspects and images.

Recovering from exposure to traumatic events even when witnessed through the media in another City, is helped by talking it over with others. Those who readily use the formal and informal support from family, friends, clergy and others generally recover better from a stressful situation. Persisting issues interfering with life can be discussed with your GP and many strategies can be employed to reduce the severity of the symptoms .

The Trauma & Grief Network : Supporting Family website has helpful information and strategies  for families on helping children with trauma , as does

For adults the mindhealthconnect website can direct you to online information and advice as can you GP.

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