For many in our community, the Texas hostage crisis at Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville on Saturday, January 15 has reignited feelings of fear, pain, anger, and other mixed emotions, just over three years after the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh on 10/27. Such jarring and tragic reminders of our own community’s trauma can be devastating to the process of recovery, leaving people feeling confused, depressed, scared, or even just emotionally exhausted.
While trauma recovery is a different process for everyone, and not everyone is reacting the same way to this news, we want to share some resources that might help you process your experience and feel a sense of comfort, support, and solidarity.
Try some mindfulness and meditation practices.
Exercises like this Guided Meditation to create a safe space in your mind or Breath Connection practice can help you ground yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, or other strong emotions. Our therapists at JFCS have a bank of resources, tips, and exercises for you to try in the moment, when you need it. Check out our Emotional and Mental Health video playlist to try one of these practices right now.
Journal, make art, listen to calming music, do yoga or gentle movement exercises, reach out to your support system, or do any other practices that help you release, externalize, or connect.
Use self-care techniques and tools to help you process your emotions and connect with things that calm you and help you feel more like yourself. Whether you love creating art, making or listening to music, writing, getting coffee with a friend, or just setting up a calming environment with tea and a good book, make time to care for yourself this weekend to help you slow down and connect with things that help you process emotions. You can also check out these tips from our Counseling team about how to care for yourself while watching the news and how to take care of yourself and others in times of trauma.
Join a support group.
JFCS and the 10.27 Healing Partnership offer support groups that may help you understand and manage your emotions through methods that go beyond traditional counseling. See some of our groups listed below and check the events calendar to sign up.
Dealing with Grief and Loss in Difficult Times – January 24
Amidst this time of physical isolation, it can be difficult to find opportunities to gather with others to reflect on and process loss and grief. The challenges of one loss can be compounded by additional losses of all kinds, making it difficult to find space for relief along the way. You are invited to join together in this virtual group to reflect and share your challenges and successes as you navigate this journey during this unique time. (Meets every two weeks on Monday)
Community Mindfulness and Meditation – January 25
Mindfulness and meditation offer the opportunity to cultivate greater awareness of one’s thoughts, feelings and actions. Increasing awareness and integrating mindfulness and meditation into one’s routine strengthens one’s ability to act with intention rather than reactively and decrease feelings of being overwhelmed.
Community Art Therapy – February 3
Join us for an art-based support group where we will explore ways art making can help regulate the nervous system, promote playfulness, imagination, help develop insight, connect us more deeply to our bodies, emotions, thoughts, and world views. Bring any basic art supplies, drawing tools, and curiosity you can find! (You will need some blank paper and any drawing materials that have some variety of color.)
Show support to the Colleyville community.
During several of the crises that Jewish communities have experienced throughout the last few years, others from around the country have banded together to show their support and solidarity through letters, cards, and artwork sent to the community. Find a way to express support to the Colleyville community to show them they are cared for by the community here in Pittsburgh.
Connect to individual counseling.
One-on-one counseling can be an important piece in processing trauma. A therapist can help you talk through your emotional reactions and give you the tools to help you learn skills to cope. Contact us at 412-422-7200 or email@example.com to find out about our counseling services and other resources we may have to help you on an individual level.
Teens that are looking for resources and support can reach out to our UpStreet team through the chat at upstreetpgh.org. Our counselors are available until 8pm and on weekends from 2pm-10pm.
If you feel you need emergency mental health assistance, please contact Resolve Crisis Services at 1-888-796-8226 or visit their walk-in crisis center located at 333 North Braddock Avenue.
If you are in need of support right now, whether you feel sad or angry, or are just not sure how to feel, JFCS is here to support you and help you connect to the resources and services you need. Reach out to speak with one of our counselors and find ways to manage this difficult situation.