• Najwa Awad, LCSW-C

Using Coping Skills During Difficult Times and Calamities

This past year American Muslims have been faced with several community tragedies leaving many youth and adults alike unsure of how to cope. Murders, suicides, political unrest happen all the time around the world, but these events are even more emotionally taxing when they happen to people in our direct communities and when they occur within a short period of time. Repeated exposure to the traumatic events through social media exacerbates grief as people air out their confusion, shock and sadness with no resolution. These stories fill our newsfeeds, and hearing grim detail after grim detail may even make us feel like we are experiencing what happened ourselves.


As a psychotherapist, I see the ripple effects of these incidents in our community as people grapple with the magnitude of what transpires. I hear the fear in parents’ voices when they speak about what could happen to their children and I see the heaviness in community leaders’ eyes as they try process what has happened themselves. The topic of coping skills comes up frequently in discussions, but sometimes with confusion and misunderstandings. My goal in this brief article is to address misconceptions about what coping skills are and clarify how people can use coping skills effectively.


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