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Attorney General Nessel Shares Resources for Residents Following a Tragedy

LANSING — In the days and weeks following the tragedy at Michigan State University (MSU), Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel encourage you to check in on your mental health. 

“The violent attack at MSU last week has shaken us all, and in the aftermath of a tragedy such as this, no one is untouched,” said Nessel. “There are many resources available for students and parents alike who may be struggling. Dealing with the grief, shock and trauma after a tragic event can take time, and I encourage anyone impacted to utilize these tools and to take care of themselves.” 

It is typical for people to experience a variety of emotions following a traumatic event, including “survivor guilt”—feeling bad that you escaped the tragedy while others did not. These feelings can include shock, sorrow, numbness, fear, anger, disillusionment, grief, and more. People may have trouble sleeping, concentrating, eating, or remembering even simple tasks. 

“MDHHS joins the Spartan community and Michiganders across the state in extending our condolences to those affected by the events at Michigan State University” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “While no family or community should have to experience this, it is important to take care of the mental health needs of survivors and those impacted by this tragic event. We encourage anyone who was affected by this week’s events to use available resources as they navigate grief and process this traumatic event.” 

There is no “right way” to deal with a tragedy. Here are some tips that may help residents in the aftermath of this week’s tragedy:

  • Strive for balance. When a tragedy occurs, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and have a negative or pessimistic outlook. Balance that viewpoint by reminding yourself of people and events that are meaningful and encouraging.  
  • Turn it off and take a break. Limit the amount of news you take in. While getting the news informs you, being overexposed to it can increase stress.
  • Honor your feelings. It is common to have a range of emotions after a traumatic incident.  
  • Take care of yourself. Engage in healthy behaviors to enhance your ability to cope with excessive stress.
  • Help others or do something productive. Locate resources in your community for ways you can help people who have been affected by this incident or have other needs. Please be wary of bad actors who may take advantage of this tragedy for their own financial gain. Learn what to look out for with our Disaster Relief and Charity Scams Alert.
  • Be patient. Remember that grief is a long process. Give yourself time to experience your feelings and to recover. 

A licensed mental health professional can assist in developing an appropriate strategy for moving forward. It is important to get professional help if you feel like you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living. 

Additional resources are available to you: 


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