The days following the tragic Dallas shooting have been filled with anger and pain after leaving five Dallas officers dead, seven injured, and two civilians injured. After attempting to process a wave of erratic emotion, many Americans are left with feelings of uncertainty and  anxiety of “what’s next?”

Shetamia Taylor, a civilian who was a victim in the Dallas shooting knows this fear and anxiety all too well.  Shetamia was shot in the leg while trying to protect her four children and is expected to make a full recovery. After the tragic events that took place on Thursday, Ms. Taylor has decided to come forward and share her story and what happened during the attack. Ms.Taylor opens up with a heart wrenching speech thanking the officers for putting their lives at risk to make sure her and her son’s lives were safe as well as praying for the families of those who lost their loved ones. The Black Lives Matter protest was supposed to be a peaceful demonstration and Ms. Taylor and her family attended in the hopes “that we can be unified and that it can be a peaceful march.” Despite the tragic events that occurred Ms. Taylor and her boys plan to attend more marches in the hopes that the community and its people can become unified.

Here is what you can do to make your voice heard and bring hope to your community after despair.

  1. Reconnect with your community.

Everyone reacts differently to tragic events so it is important to talk with those about what you experienced. Talking to others not only relieves your stress but also those around you and allows for teamwork and hope toward a new solution.

  1. Rebuild your community.

Research community programs available to you. Joining these programs allows for your voice to be heard as well as offers you the chance to be a part of the change in bringing your community back together.

     3.  Revaluate your priorities.

In times of crisis it is important to keep your mental health in check in order to be a larger advantage to your community. Be sure to reach out for help if you need it with family therapy services. Also, be sure to maintain your own life through your normal routines and priorities even in times of crisis.

Remember, all lives matter and just as Ms. Shetamia Taylor expressed the only way to pave the road for change is if we are unified.

Author: Dr. Jada Jackson Dallas Fort Worth Arlington Texas Communicator, Coach & Licensed Mental Health Counselor working with couples, teens, young adults and women empowerment issues.  Jada Jackson can be reached at (469) 757-5215 for family counseling services in Forth Worth.

Author: Danielle Hackett (UCF Psychology Intern)