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The importance of counseling after a traumatic event

Posted at 6:13 PM, May 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-19 18:13:36-04

Melinda DuBois, MHA executive director, Mental Health Advocates joins us to talk about the importance of counseling and all the resources.

Mel says it has been amazing that so many people that were impacted and their friends and family members and people in the neighborhood have access to mental healthcare counselors, it’s so important right now.

Melinda says I really want to stress how important that is. I really can’t stress that enough. It is really important t reach out to your community wherever you get support. I really recommend mental health support but if you get support from your faith leaders, from your friends, from our teacher it’s really so important right now to reach out. What we know when we experience a trauma, like we experienced in our community, is the sooner you get help the better off you are going to be long-term. I think the thing that really concerns me about when we’ve been through is that there are so many people who are hurting and may not feel comfortable reaching out for help. They may feel like they are strong enough to weather this, that they are just pull up their bootstraps and manage to get through this.”

She says, “There are so many people who feel a little bit of guilt for feeling traumatized by this experience and I would encourage everybody to consider reaching out for help; if you don’t think you have been directly impacted by this because, what we know is that there is something called vicarious trauma. So even if you are not a person directly impacted, you weren’t the person at TOPS, you’re not affiliated with the neighborhood, you can still experience trauma just by watching things happening on the news, hearing interviews about the shooter, all of those things are extremely stressful and for our community that already struggles with high rates of anxiety and depression, all that is happening right now is really triggering for people. They can track back traumas that they experienced in their childhood or in their adulthood, so it really is a triggering event and again I just can’t stress enough how important it is to reach out. There are so many counselors that are available right now certainly at the Johnny B. Wiley Center. They have phenomenal trauma counselors that are available there; just walk in.

Melinda says, “There are some people who are afraid to leave their homes, so I understand that; I’m concerned about those people, and I want to encourage them to make a phone call. You can call us, the Mental Health Advocates at 716-886-1242 and we can get you in touch with a counselor. You also don’t have to go to a counselling center, you can call somebody, you can do telehealth. There are so many resources available, and it is just so important to call somebody and reach out for help.”

Mel says if we take care of ourselves, we can be stronger for everybody else in our community. Melinda says “That again is an important message. If a lot of people feel guilty about feeling joy in this moment or be able to take care of themselves but it is so important to really feel those experiences and take care of yourselves. There is a lot of adrenaline now, a lot of attention happening in our community now and when things settle d little bit, I’m concerned that’s when people are going to struggle.”