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Mental health experts say more people are seeking counseling after tragedy

How you can get help
Posted at 12:58 PM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-26 12:17:42-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — As you head down Jefferson Avenue, you pass many building tributes to the Jefferson Ten, those we lost more than a week ago in the mass shooting at Tops on Jefferson Ave. As we remember, there are so many feelings to unpack.

"This is a frightening thing that happened and it hits home," said Dr. Wendy Weinstein, a psychiatrist with BryLin Behavioral Health.

Right after tragedy struck, she says she wasn't getting many calls. More than a week later, people are asking for help.

"People are starting to speak about it. It's incomprehensible. The shock is starting to fade and people are becoming a little bit anxious," said Dr. Weinstein.

She says it's important to keep talking and coming together.

"Be with family. Maybe you weren't used to eating dinner together, start eating dinner together. Start putting the phones down, start connecting. Try not to isolate. Because if you isolate that will just increase your anxiety," said Dr. Weinstein.

She is accepting new patients (call 716-362-1210), but maybe you're not ready for counseling just yet. You can go to a support group with Coaching for the Culture.

They're happening every Thursday at 7pm through May and into June at 3527 Harlem Road.

"Just getting together brings together a sense of community, support, healing," said Dominique Johnson, Director and Coach.

This is the goal of Mental Health Awareness Month, especially in communities of color, this tragedy is breaking that stigma even further in WNY.

"The conversation was happening more, but this definitely brought it to the forefront and although it as a tragedy it gives us the opportunity to support each other and talk about why this type of support is needed in the community," said Johnson.

Coaching for the Culture can connect you to that next step of counseling, for more info click here.

You can also donate to the Buffalo Federation of Neighborhood Centers (BFNC) "You Matter" transportation fund to help get people to counseling, click here.

There are services at Johnnie B. Wiley on Jefferson from 1-9pm daily thru May 27.

A helpline for a crisis counselor through NY Project Hope can also be reached at (716) 250-2478.

The Crisis Services 24-hour helpline can be reached at 716-834-3131.