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Experts To Sandy Hook Panel: Emotional Trauma Need Likely To Grow

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Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Patricia Rehmer. Photo from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Patricia Rehmer. Photo from the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

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At today’s meeting of the governor’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, officials said  the need for trauma services is likely to continue for some time.

Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services Commissioner Patricia Rehmer says officials are just begining to see the after-effects of stress from Sandy Hook right now.

“In the immediate aftermath, people are really dealing more with grief, and the immediate response,” Rehmer said. “We aniticipate that in three or six months we will begin to see more need, and then a specific anniversaries.”

Rehmer says it will take at least a year or two, to fully understand the effect of trauma on students, teachers, and first responders.

Rehmer says it is imortant for people to allow themselves to take a step back, after a severe traumatic event.

“One of the teachers we spoke with said, ‘When I go back into the classroom after this event, it is the most important day of my career. And I am not prepared to go back in.’”

Rehmer said some Sandy Hook teachers were not immediately ready to go back into the classrooms.  She said the teachers’ trauma needed to be addressed, before they were put back into classrooms to oversee children who also had been traumatized.

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