How to move on after the act of violence in Kuopio?
The incident that occurred in Kuopio on Tuesday has naturally shocked people who were there where the incident took place as well as their loved ones, the surrounding community and all us Finns. At the moment, many might be wondering about life, about how to make it through and how to cope with their daily lives and carry on with their studies.
Nevertheless, experience shows that even the most difficult things can be overcome. On a community level, sharing a collective experience and regaining one’s strength becomes the center of focus. On an individual level, it is important to face and share one’s own thoughts and emotions and to be patient with one’s own and their loved ones’ reactions.
Many were targets of the violent attack. In addition, many had to witness the incident from the sidelines. Schools and shopping centers are places we all visit from time to time. Surely, almost everyone has been wondering what could have happened if they or their loved ones would have been there when the incident happened. Thinking about such matters might cause surprisingly strong reactions, which are completely natural and normal.
Everyday life and daily routines help regain our sense of security
It is worth remembering that these kind of incidents are extremely rare. Most of us live in the exact same and safe conditions as before the shocking incident took place in Kuopio. It is good to observe one’s own surroundings and everyday life and think if something about it really has changed. One’s everyday life is the basis of our sense of security and getting back to one’s daily routines helps in regaining one’s sense of security.
Take time to reflect on your own reactions
Strong thoughts and emotions are common after a shocking incident. The incident might cause fear, grief, confusion, anxiety or even guilt. Many can feel that they are not entitled to their emotions if the incident hasn’t involved them or their loved ones directly. Emotions can sometimes also be locked or frozen which might also feel wrong. It is however worth remembering that all emotions and thoughts are completely normal and natural, they are not dangerous.
Take your time to reflect on your own reactions. Let them come through and listen to them to find out what are the things you should be working on. In this line of job, it might be necessary to talk with others. Each of us also have our own coping mechanisms and ways of dealing with our emotions, for example exercise, listening to music, moving in the nature or writing and reading can be helpful for someone. By self-research and experimenting everyone can find a way to feel better in a difficult situation.
Don’t leave children and young people alone with their thoughts
One can’t fully protect children and young people from shocking events. They are affected as well as adults. It is necessary to be honest about what has happened and not to leave them alone with their thoughts. Questions that especially children and young people are raising, should be answered even if you feel you don’t have all the answers. The youngest of children should also be spared the details and protected from the media.
The reactions of children and young people might surprise and sometimes feel contradictory, as they don’t possess the same capabilities to process their thoughts and emotions as adults. They need the help and support of adults to handle with the confusing events and thoughts. Keep your young ones close, cuddle them and have calm discussions with them so that they can begin regaining their sense of security.
Help is available
There is help available in Finland. No one who has experienced something shocking and upsetting should be left alone with their experiences and thoughts. It is good to ask for help ant to accept it.
The city of Kuopio provides personal counselling for all in need
Kuopio’s social emergency services offer crisis support and counselling at the emergency number 044 718 3930 (open 24/7). Everyone will receive personal advice and help at the number. We especially wish that everyone who was there when the incident took place would contact us.
The city of Kuopio provides evening and weekend emergency services at KYS. Individuals suffering from specific symptoms, such as insomnia and strong anxiety, can contact the services by calling the number: 116 117
Red Cross volunteers continue helping until Sunday evening
The Red Cross crisis support station at Puijonkatu 9 continues to offer mental support. Open from 9am to 9pm.