Mental health experts share tips on processing recent spike in gun violence
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) -It’s no doubt that the past week has been tough to process for many after a week of deadly gun violence internationally and locally.
On Sunday, a nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs killed five people and injured many others. A week prior, three UVA football players were shot to death after a class field trip and the violence seems not to stop.
Mental health experts say that these gun violence occurrences are happening more frequently, making it even more necessary to know what resources are available to deal with complicated feelings stemming from these tragic events.
Dr. Bela Sood with VCU Health said that while it’s important to know what’s going on in the world, you should be careful about watching these tragic events on repeat, which can often retraumatize or continue to weigh on people. Having family discussions or talks with loved ones can also help.
“The more we are able to delve into it and to understand the reasons for some of these shootings, the more your mind begins to wrap itself around rational solutions,” Sood explained.
If you’re starting to have feelings of sadness, it’s recommended to try to do things you enjoy and fall back into your regular routine. If feelings of anxiety and depression persist, it may be time to get professional help from a licensed therapist or doctor.
“If you’re not sleeping, you’re fatigued during the day. If you’re not eating, you don’t have the energy, if you don’t want to talk with your friends or you don’t want to engage in things that you enjoy doing, those are a clear notation to us or our own sort of selves that something is different,” Sood stated.
Experts also recommend calling the suicide lifeline at 988 or going to the emergency room to seek help if you’re feeling suicidal or in crisis.
Those in the LGBTQIA+ community may feel unsafe or depressed as they process what happened in the nightclub shooting in Colorado Springs, especially because the shooting is being investigated as a hate crime.
James Millner of Diversity Richmond wants the community to know that resources are available and that the support of allies is needed now more than ever.
“Let them know that you are thankful that they are here. Let them know that they are welcome and celebrated parts of your lives. That’s what we need to hear right now that these acts of hate and violence are outside the norm, that they are the fringe elements,” said Millner.
As we head into Thanksgiving, UGRC and Black Pride RVA will offer extra community support by hosting a Thanksgiving gathering. The event will be from 12:30 p.m. -3:30 p.m. at Diversity Richmond on Sherwood Avenue.
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