Students, staff, counselors feel impact of deadly MSU shooting

Published: Feb. 16, 2023 at 10:07 PM EST
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Following the tragic shooting on Monday at Michigan State University, the school has been providing counseling services for anyone who needs them.

These services are available to everyone in the community at the East Lansing Hannah Community Center, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. every day. The staff at the counseling services have noted that this tragedy has had an impact on everyone.

“I think I’ve given out more hugs in the last couple days than I have in 10 years,” said Dennis Martell, MSU Director of Health Promotion.

Counseling services are being offered free of charge, and therapists say that many of the students seeking counseling at this time are experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and anxiety.

“Increased anxiety and depression,” said Nedra Cannon. “With everything that has happened this week, I am seeing a culmination of everything - Post-traumatic stress, anxiety.”

Increased heart rate is a telltale sign of anxiety, and some students have reported experiencing panic attacks since the shooting.

Not only can it be traumatic for students and community members, therapists can also be impacted by their clients’ trauma.

“Vicarious trauma, secondary trauma,” Cannon said. “Therapists are just as vulnerable to experiencing secondary trauma just by virtue of hearing what’s going on with people that are navigating loss and mass shootings.”

MSU said they want to be able to offer services to therapists.

“We are actually talking about having therapists for the therapists because they’re emotional about it all too,” Martell said. “They’ve never been through this.”

MSU is planning to offer these counseling services as long as they’re needed, especially as students plan to arrive back on campus Sunday.

The university has canceled classes for this week and is set to resume in person on Monday.

More information on MSU’s counseling services can be found here.

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