It's OK to Not be OK

State Senator Rosemary Bayer

Dear Friends,

Yesterday’s school shooting at Oxford High School is simply horrifying. On top of an already difficult situation with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, our students, teachers, and staff all now have to face the aftershocks of this deeply traumatic situation in a place that is supposed to be a safe space for learning and growth.

My heart goes out to everyone involved. I remain committed to working with local authorities to understand all the information and provide as much assistance as my office can. I encourage anyone with information about this situation to share it with the police, and I thank our local responders for their swift assistance and response during this difficult time.

After an extremely traumatic event like this, it’s very important that we help students in a way that is supportive based on research related to mental health outcomes.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. Try and keep routines as normal as possible. Kids gain security from the predictability of routine, including attending school.
  2. Limit exposure to television and the news.
  3. Be honest with kids and share with them as much information as they are developmentally able to handle. If you don’t have 100% correct information to share, or have not processed it yourself, communicate that and postpone conversation on your end.
  4. Listen to kids’ fears and concerns. THIS IS MAJOR.
  5. Reassure kids that the world is a good place to be, but that there are people who do bad things.
  6. PARENTS AND ADULTS need to first deal with and assess their own responses to crisis and stress.
  7. Rebuild and reaffirm attachments and relationships.

For many people, using the tips and strategies mentioned above may be sufficient to get through the current crisis. At times, however, an individual can get stuck or have difficulty managing intense reactions. It is important to seek professional help if you feel like you are unable to function or perform basic activities of daily living.

If you or someone you know is in immediate danger of self-harm due to this event, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.

Another resource for anyone affected is Common Ground, an excellent resource right here in Oakland County. Their crisis line is ready and available for anyone who needs support. Call or text 1-800-231-1127. 

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As always, if I can be of any assistance to you or your family, please call my office at (517) 373-2417, or email me at SenRBayer@senate.michigan.gov.

With love and support,  

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Rosemary Bayer
State Senator
12th District

As an elected representative, I believe in being readily available and transparent because my office is your office.

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