Fireworks could cause PTSD for 1 October survivors


Although Fourth of July will be a fun celebration for most people, it could be a different kind of experience for 1 October survivors.

Fireworks are a common trigger for anyone suffering from post traumatic stress syndrome.

One survivor from the shooting told 8 News Now, every time she hears fireworks, the sound sends her back to that horrible night.

As she and so many others work through their trauma from the shooting, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center says there are ways we can all help the healing process this holiday.

The road to healing winds on.

“Kaitlyn called me before the 9-1-1 call even happened and said, ‘Daddy, they’re shooting at me,'” said Brian Rogers, father of Route 91 survivor.

Nearly nine months after the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, Kaitlyn Rogers talks about the night she’ll never forget. She was working at the festival.

“In that moment it wasn’t how do I get safe, it was what’s going on around me, how do I help?”

She’s one of so many survivors who now struggle with certain sights and sounds. Fireworks trigger Kaitlyn’s trauma from that night.

“Those things get kind of stuck in a person’s head,” said Terri Keener, LCSW Behavioral Health coordinator, resiliency center.

Keener is the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center’s Behavioral Health Coordinator.

She says Kaitlyn is one of hundreds in the valley dealing with this devastation every single day.

“The brain takes the body right back to what it was experiencing at the time of the event when it hears those things,” she said.

As we get ready for the Fourth of July next week, Keener wants everyone to take a few extra precautions.

You can be considerate and have compassion for the survivors in our community by letting your neighbors know.

If you’re dealing with post traumatic stress, it’s important to prepare. Do as much planning and preparing and use coping mechanisms as well as family and support systems. Using headphones and other distraction techniques can be helpful.

“Talk to the people around you, let them know what you need, let them know what you are worried about,” Keener said.

And know this feeling won’t last forever.

“I think that as time wears on, I think the idea of the tragedy hopefully won’t be the forefront,” Kaitlyn Rogers said.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the traumatic effects of the tragedy, the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is available Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can call them at 455-2433.

If you need help after hours or on the Fourth of July, call the Disaster Distress Hotline at 1-800-985-5990.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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