Moving forward: Dealing with tragedy

Published: Mar. 22, 2018 at 12:09 PM CDT
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Dealing with Tragedies like the one on March 22 in 2017 differs from person to person, and many people grieve in a different way. That includes those from our youngest generation -- kids in our local schools -- who had to adjust as well.

Dr. Brian Weiland from the Behavioral Health Clinic in Wausau said that pain and grief doesn't necessarily go away after 12 months.

"A year feels like a long time for the rest of us, as life kind of gets going and moving, but 12 months doesn't even scratch the surface for a lot of these people who knew these people so intimately," Dr. Weiland said. "A lot of the reminders that they see in life, the people that they talk to, it is sort of a drop in the bucket to these people's lives."

D.C. Everest Junior High Principal Jason McFarlane said in the days following the March 22 shooting, services were available to help students cope with the tragedy.

"We needed to make sure our staff, our Student Services Department, was there to provide what the students needed, what the families needed," McFarlane said. "Because sometimes, students might not say anything at school, they would go home and confide in their parents that they were really struggling, weren't sure how to handle some of those things."

Brooke Davis is a counselor for the D.C. Everest School District. She said students' mental health is becoming a bigger focus for the district.

"We have people in the district that are going to be trained to be trainers to help not only our staff, but students deal with trauma, so we're recognizing that," Davis explained. "We also have counseling agencies that are in our buildings. Not only in the Everest district, but also around Marathon County."

"I think it's fantastic that a lot of our area schools see this as something that is absolutely important," Dr. Weiland added. "And I think it's abnout creating a culture at the school that is about discussion, it is about being okay with expression of feelings, which I think can be kind of tricky for an organization, for a system to do."