The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is offering support to 1 October survivors affected by the mass shooting that occurred last night at a popular bar and grill in Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Staff is available by phone and for walk-in clients each day at the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center. Some posts on social media and news reports indicate that some victims of the shooting at the Borderline Bar and Grill also may be survivors of the 1 October shooting that occurred in Las Vegas during the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
"We are saddened to hear about the attack that occurred last night in Thousand Oaks," said Terri Keener, a licensed clinical social worker and Behavioral Health Coordinator at the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center. "We encourage anyone who is struggling with fear or anxiety or sadness to reach out and call us. You're not alone, and we are here to support you."
Mental health experts say reminders of mass violence can affect people in different ways and at different times, including hearing or seeing news about other violent events. The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is located at 1524 Pinto Lane and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. It can be reached by phone at (702) 455-2433 (AIDE) or toll-free at (833) 299-2433 and by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Its website address is www.VegasStrongRC.org. It also has a Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/VegasStrongResiliencyCenter.
A local support group for Route 91 survivors and family member meets the first Tuesday of the month, 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the Nathan Adelson Hospice Center for Compassionate Care, 4131 Swenson St. Mental health experts say support groups can be helpful for people who are dealing with mass violence because they offer a safe environment for talking about shared experiences and emotions. Survivors are encouraged to contact the Resiliency Center if they have interest in participating in a support group in the local area or elsewhere. The center's staff will work to connect 1 October survivors here or in other locations with support groups in their communities. A list of coping tips available on the Resiliency Center's website may be helpful to those who affected by the shootings. Suggestions 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. After hours on 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 survivors 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, to 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. Anniversaries and special events like holidays or birthdays may be particularly difficult, especially for those who lost a loved one. To cope plan to be with people who care about you and plan an activity together.
The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center opened on Oct. 23, 2017, to provide free resources and support to anyone affected by the 1 October shooting including survivors, family members of victims, responders and those who witnessed the incident or tried to assist victims. Since the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center opened, it has served about 8,000 people. Services include victim advocacy and support; legal consultations for civil legal matters such as debt collection, foreclosure, insurance claims, and family law issues; grief counseling and spiritual care referrals; and technical assistance accessing online resources including FBI Victim Assistance Services for claiming personal items left behind at the 1 October concert venue.