Did you experience trauma following the Shake the Lake shooting? Here are tips from a psychologist

Part of Dane County District Attorney's Office

A trauma response team is available to help those impacted by the shooting at Shake the Lake in Madison over the weekend.

The Crime Response Program has specialists trained to help people through trauma. The program is part of the Dane County District Attorney’s Office.

Dr. Lisa Baker, a psychologist with SSM Health, explained that most people are “resilient” and bounce back quickly after witnessing a shooting or similar event, but it can depend on what they’ve experienced before in their lives.

“One of the effects is on the nervous system — this fight-or-flight response, which is quite adaptive because it keeps us safe. Do we run? Do we flee? What can happen, though, is our bodies can stay in that experience for days, even weeks after an event,” she said.

She said symptoms of this can be the heart rate getting faster, a change in appetite and trouble sleeping. Baker recommends that anyone experiencing these symptoms make sure they’re taking care of their basic physical needs as well as emotional needs, such as talking it through with someone else. They should also limit their time watching TV or other media.

So when should someone seek medical attention? Baker said it could be time to do so when someone has trouble getting back to a normal routine.

As for why people have trouble after shootings, she said some of it is related to the current climate surrounding mass shootings.

“Our children throughout the year are doing drills for the possibility of a mass shooting, so everyone is sort of on guard. So if you hear shots … that’s where people’s minds can go,” Baker said.

People wanting support can call the Crime Response hotline at 608-284-6908. The number for the after office hours hotline is 608-376-0164. Specialists can help adults and children.

For those of you impacted by the shooting at Shake the Lake in Madison on Saturday – there are trauma specialists available to help you sort through everything. Here’s the phone number for the Crime Response Program: 608-284-6908. The after office hours line is 608-376-0164.

— Stephanie Fryer (@stephfryermedia) July 2, 2019

One person was shot Saturday following the fireworks display as part of Madison’s Fourth of July celebration.

The shooting took place in the John Nolen tunnel under the Monona terrace and caused a large stampede as thousands of people ran away from the scene. Multiple people were injured in the aftermath, including a police officer who hurt his leg.

The 20-year-old shooting victim was released from a hospital Monday. Officers are still looking for the shooter, according to MPD.

The police chief of the Madison Police Department and the mayor of Madison held a news conference Monday to address the incident and safety at public events such as Shake the Lake.

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