Mental health experts: Halloween, NYE will affect 1 Oct. shooting survivors


The holidays are just around the corner, and for many of the 1 October victims, it’s going to be a really hard time because things will just not be the same.

In fact, mental health experts say days like Halloween and New Year’s Eve could remind them of the sounds and carnage because it might still be fresh in the mind of shooting survivors living with trauma.

Psychotherapist Alyson Shainker has been received calls from shooting victims.

“It’s not what most would assume that we’d get the call all up front that the first week,” said Shainker.  “I think it takes some time for it to set in.

According to Shainker, as reality sets in more and more people will acknowledge their trauma.

“A lot of reactions that come from experiencing a trauma are feelings such as anxiety, depression, sadness, and anger,” Shainker said. “There’s a lot of self-blame sometimes.”

The concern for Shainker in the coming weeks and months is the holidays, which might trigger flashbacks.

“A lot of people have the fake blood on their costumes. A lot of people carry around fake weapons, have masks on, and that could be very triggering for a victim,” said Shainker.

Shainker says it’s important to have a plan.

“Maybe for parents, this is not the time they should take the children out trick or treating maybe someone else can take the children trick or treating this year,” Shainker said.

Another trigger could be the sound of fireworks during New Year’s Eve.
According to Shainker, the only way to heal from trauma after witnessing a heinous crime is to talk about it, whether it be to a professional or a loved one.
The state is providing financial help for shooting victims and their families to receive counseling.  To learn more about victims assistance go here.

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