Therapist Says Recovering From Mattoon School Shooting Will Take Time

Sep 21, 2017

The Mattoon community is recovering from a shooting at the high school Wednesday that left one student injured and another in custody.

A licensed therapist says it may take a long time for people to process their emotions.

Speaking on the Illinois Public Media daily talk show The 21st, therapist Karen Simms says between 15 and 20-percent of people who experience a shooting incident develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“That’s a pretty significant impact and those signs can happen up to four years after the incident.”

Simms says while counselors and clergy provide much needed help for students and staff immediately after a shooting, adults should watch children carefully for signs of PTSD well after the incident.

While the focus now is on helping children process their emotions, Simms also warns adults to make sure they are getting any counseling they need. She adds parents, teachers and administrators need to watch out for each other.