The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is offering support to 1 October survivors affected by the mass shooting that occurred on Wednesday at Parkland High School in Florida.
A therapist is available by phone and for walk-in clients each day at the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center. News of the shooting in Florida prompted calls to the Resiliency Center's hotlines from 1 October survivors reminded of the violence that occurred in Las Vegas during the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
"Reminders of mass violence can affect people in different ways and at different times, including hearing or seeing news about other violent events," said Monique Cox, a therapist with FirstMed Health & Wellness Center in Las Vegas who works at the Resiliency Center part time. "We encourage anyone who is struggling with fear or anxiety or sadness to reach out and call us. You're not alone."
The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is located at 1524 Pinto Lane and is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. It can be reached by phone at (702) 455-2433 (AIDE) or toll-free at (833) 299-2433 and by email at: email@example.com. Its website address is www.VegasStrongRC.org. It also has a Facebook page at: www.Facebook.com/VegasStrongResiliencyCenter.
Three therapy support groups are now meeting in Southern Nevada for 1 October survivors and their family members, including a group for Spanish speakers. The support groups are free and being facilitated by local therapists. The meetings are not open to the general public due to the need to maintain the privacy and confidentiality of participants. The meeting schedule is as follows:
- Mondays, 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Spanish language group – FirstMed Health & Wellness Center, 400 Shadow Lane, Suite 106
- Tuesdays, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. – Dignity Health Siena Campus, 3001 St. Rose Pkwy. in Henderson
- Tuesdays, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Creative Solutions Counseling Center, 7371 W. Charleston Blvd.
The Resiliency Center is working with local providers to establish more groups, and also is tracking resources available in other states and communities. A list of coping tips available on the Resiliency Center's website may be helpful to those who affected by 1 October. 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 survivor of mass violence to seek out counseling months or even years after an event. If you were present at the mass shooting, we encourage you to submit an application with the Nevada Victims of Crime program by Oct. 1, 2018, so you will be eligible to recoup out-of-pocket expenses for insurance co-pays. More information about the Nevada Victims of Crime Program is available at www.voc.nv.gov or (702) 486-2740
- 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.
Survivors of 1 October and anyone dealing with effects from the violence including hotel workers, taxi cab drivers or bystanders who tried to help victims are encouraged to contact the resiliency center. An online intake form is posted on the center's website. Staff will follow up with you to assess needs, connect you with available resources and provide you with updates. Available resources include victim advocacy and support, legal assistance, counseling and spiritual care referrals, and help applying for funding you may be eligible for through the Nevada Victims of Crime Program.
The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada has an attorney on-site at the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center to assess legal needs stemming from the tragedy such as employment, probate, financial issues and more. The Legal Aid Center also is working with the State Bar of Nevada to help connect victims and survivors located outside of the Las Vegas area with free legal resources in their home states.