We can wake ourselves up by increasing our oxygen level by breathing deeply. Or conversely, we can put ourselves to sleep with a kind of meditation of shallow breathing, and repeating silently the words to the rhythmic "in" and "out" like a mantra.
Instead of an assessment (which implies judgment) and advice (which implies expertise), what someone who's mentally distressed, in any context, needs first, mentally and emotionally, is some acknowledgment and support.
We all watch the news and know that anything can happen at any time that will change our lives. Sometimes it's an unexpected incident during a predicted or planned event and other times it is all sudden and unexpected like a natural disaster.