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How to cope, support others as 9/11 memories, images come up

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Posted at 2:51 PM, Sep 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 16:39:25-04

HAMILTON COUNTY — As the 20-year mark of 9/11 approaches, a licensed mental health counselor says it's important to remember that everyone's reactions and coping skills will be different.

"Everyone was in a different place in their life at that time, and a different place in their life now, so not getting stuck on oh, why am I feeling this way or why am I having this reaction?" Kaitlyn Ervin, manager of comprehensive outpatient services in Hamilton County for Aspire Indiana, said.

Ervin says there are three things to keep in mind: being prepared for the day, being mindful for the day and being kind to yourself for that.

She suggests keeping a regular routine or planning something to honor those who lost their lives. Having a support system in place, whatever that looks like, is also important.

"Just being available is super important," Ervin said. "For some people, it's having a safe space to talk through how they're reacting, what their feelings are, talking about the events of the day 20 years ago ... for some, they may not even want to talk about any of it, it's just having those people around them ... that might be a good distraction for the day."

Ervin said if you're having an increased reaction or doesn't know what to do with their emotions, reach out to your support system or an available professional.

Indiana's Be Well Crisis Helpline is a free, confidential service that allows callers to speak with a trained counselor 24/7. You can call 211, enter your zip code and press 3.

You can also text HOME to 741-741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

More information is available here.