Tuesday, October 3, 2017

How to Help Mandalay Bay Survivors. Be There!

This morning I posted advice on Google+ about how to help someone after they have survived something like Mandalay Bay shooting. It is really simple advice.
"If you know survivors of the shooting in Las Vegas, be there to listen to them. Do not turn it into a contest or try to "fix them" with any words, other than letting them know you care. Hold their hand and hold your tongue. Be there as they bring what happened as survivors back into the safety of what "normal" life is supposed to be."
Aside from living through many times when my life was on the line as a civilian, (remember, I am not the veteran in the family) this works. My family did it naturally, not knowing they were beginning my healing as a survivor. I also studied it, trained to work with First Responders, because of how much I do believe it works. 

Having seen the worst that can happen after a survivor is suffering without help, I weep more because I know that suffering did not need to happen.

It isn't just me saying this. It is repeated over and over again from the type of experts I learned from. You know, the ones with degrees up the you know what and a proven history of being right.


This is from one of those types of articles that just came out from an interview with Michele Hart.
A place to feel safe
"The first step is safety. Give someone a safe place to be and just be," she said. "Right now the talking isn't the important part."

Hart said the priority should be giving people a place where they can cry and express emotions and begin to process what has happened in a way that is safe and comfortable.  
The rush for 'psychological first aid' in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting
CNBC
Jessica Mathews
October 3, 2017


The morning after Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resorts promptly opened a crisis center.
What was to be an evening of country music and celebration turned into a night of bloody terror, leaving those affected at risk of severe post-traumatic stress disorder.
Clinical social worker Michele Hart, who specializes in stressor-related disorders, says one of the best measures to treat PTSD is providing a place where those affected can cry and express emotions.


Denise Truscello | Getty Images
People embrace during a vigil on the Las Vegas strip for the victims of the Route 91 Harvest country music festival shootings on October 2, 2017, in Las Vegas.


The morning after 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire on 22,000 concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay Resorts promptly opened a crisis center, asking certified trauma counselors to volunteer and go to "Circus Circus – Ballroom D," according to a tweet. The makeshift crisis center was open to all victims, family members and anyone else directly impacted by the events, including Mandalay Bay guests and employees.


"Psychological first aid," or early mental health response, after the aftermath of horror and heartbreak is relatively new. In the first two weeks after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings on December 14, 2012, which left 29 people dead, more than 800 people visited the main crisis counseling center in Newtown, Connecticut. Within 24 hours after the June 12, 2016, nightclub shooting in Orlando, which claimed 49 lives, local counselors began circulating a spreadsheet, asking practitioners to sign up for shifts to offer therapy and support to victims, their families and community members. In a few days 650 practitioners signed up.


The Las Vegas shooting on Sunday night turned out to be the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving 59 dead and 527 injured. For nearly 15 minutes shots rained down on the attendees, who had nowhere to escape. What was to be an evening of country music and celebration turned into a night of bloody terror, leaving those affected — whether directly or vicariously — at risk of severe post-traumatic stress disorder.

read more here


But remember, it isn't just about the survivors. It is the First Responders, the families, the friends and the people who just left, will also be changed. Will you be there to help them change again for the better?