Non-profit Southland hosts private support group for mass shooting survivors

Route 91 shooting survivors and their families gathered for a private support group after the latest mass shooting in Texas reopened old wounds.

“We know they can be triggered by that and it kind of takes them back to the space they’ve been through,” said director Kristi Thompson.

Thompson and his nonprofit “Give An Hour” organized a private support group for survivors and their families of the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas – the deadliest in American history. . She hoped to provide help and support to those who felt re-traumatized by the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that claimed the life of 19 children and two teachers on Tuesday.

“The fact that it was young kids involved in it made it especially brutal, and people are really slowing down,” Thompson said. “Trying to take good care of themselves today and connecting with others to try and get through this.”

Thompson said she believes the way forward for survivors and their families is long-term recovery and ongoing therapy. The trauma suffered could affect people on a much deeper level than many realize.

“A lot of trauma. I think every time we see another shooting…we get traumatized over and over and over again,” said clinical therapist Debrah Schanck.

As a senior clinical behavioral health therapist at Loma Linda University in Murrieta, Schnack said the best practice anyone can do is be compassionate to themselves and others trying to get through this. tragedy.

“I would say go to the people you love and reach out to them,” she said. “Tell a friend if you’re having a hard time.”

Virginia S. Braud