As the country deals with the aftermath of three recent mass shooting tragedies, a likely reminder for survivors of 1 October, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center (VSRC) is increasing its office hours and partnering with agencies to offer support groups including virtual, daytime and evening.
"We are extremely grateful for local therapists who have offered 1 October survivors innovative and traditional processing groups free of charge," said Tennille Pereira, director of the VSRC.
H.O.P.E. Counseling Services in Las Vegas is offering video conferencing, evening support groups this week on Tuesday and Thursday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday and Thursday at 4 p.m. With tele-support groups, members meet face to face over GoToMeeting, in small groups, no matter how far away they may be.
Desert Parkway Behavioral Healthcare Hospital, located at 3247 Maryland Parkway, 89109, in Las Vegas is offering a discussion group today at 6 p.m. UNLV School of Medicine is offering one evening support group, located at Desert Parkway's office, on Thursday, Aug. 8 at 6 p.m. Bridge Counseling Associates, located at 1640 Alta Drive, 89106, in Las Vegas, is offering processing groups Monday, Aug. 5, through Friday, Aug. 9, at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m. No appointments are required at those three times.
Starting today, the VSRC, located at 1524 Pinto Lane, 89106, in Las Vegas, will be open indefinitely from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays, instead of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. After-hours appointments can be obtained on an as-needed basis.
Survivors of 1 October can obtain more details, including the link for the virtual sessions and RSVP by calling (702) 455-2433 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, where Resiliency Center trained professionals can connect them with appropriate resources. The details are also provided at https://vegasstrongrc.org/response-resources/.
The recent tragedies may serve as reminders for survivors. Coping tips include:
- Reach out for help. Feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety and depression are common after a traumatic event. When you feel distressed, don't be alone. Talk to someone who is understanding and cares about you including a friend, family member, pastor or therapist. Afterhours, weekends or holidays, call the National Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 to talk with a trained crisis counselor.
- Seek counseling. If you are struggling with memories, flashbacks or reminders of the violent event, counseling can offer some coping strategies. It's not uncommon for a survivor of mass violence to seek out counseling months or even years after an event.
- Stay in your normal routine as much as possible. Even if you don't feel like it, go back to work or school and try to carry on with your usual chores. It will help to reduce stress if you continue doing the things you would normally do every day. To cope, plan to be with people who care about you and plan an activity together.