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Experts Offer Tips to Help Survivors Cope with Pandemic-Related Stressors during 1 October Anniversary

Experts Offer Tips to Help Survivors Cope with Pandemic-Related Stressors during 1 October Anniversary

The approach of the third anniversary of the 1 October shooting, coupled with the pandemic, may be an incredibly difficult time for many survivors and family members of victims of the tragedy. The Vegas Strong Resiliency Center is encouraging residents, visitors and responders to be aware that the anniversary can cause anxiety, fear, anger, flashbacks and other effects, and is encouraging those affected to reach out for support.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is challenging for many and now Route 91 shooting survivors are forced to grapple with the anniversary,” said Tennille Pereira, director of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center. “The pandemic adds another layer of anxiety or stress for those impacted by 1 October. The Resiliency Center encourages people affected by the shooting on October 1 to reach out to the Resiliency Center for support. If they are hesitant to ask for support, we hope they will consider watching #VegasStrong: Connecting During COVID-19.”

Viewers will learn about available resources for survivors through the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center and other agencies, as well as learn about the importance of staying connected to achieve long-term healing and resiliency. The program will air on Channel 10 on Thursday, October 1, 2020, at 7:30 p.m.

Common anniversary reactions among survivors of a disaster or traumatic event include replaying

memories, thoughts or feelings about the incident; grief and sadness; fear and anxiety; and frustration, anger and guilt. Suggested coping tips from the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration include:

  • Know that it’s natural to feel sad, angry or anxious, especially if others appear to be enjoying themselves.
  • Reach out to family and friends. Don’t isolate.
  • Talk about your losses with people who care about you.
  • Draw on your faith and spirituality. For many, faith is a source of strength and comfort every day and especially on difficult days.
  • Accept kindness and help from others. There is a tendency to resist help from others, or to believe that we don’t need help as much as others.
  • Do things that might help you with overwhelming emotions. If you are a person who likes to exercise or take walks, make sure you do these activities in the days before and on anniversary days.
  • Participate in rituals that may provide soothing comfort such as sharing a meal, visiting a special place, or attending a spiritual service.

Seeking Help

During the pandemic, the Resiliency Center plans virtual therapeutic events and facilitator led peer support. Events are posted to its website, vegasstrongrc.org/calendar. A Route 91 Online Support Group meets virtually every Wednesday and the last Saturday of each month with a life coach.

The Resiliency Center’s hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday−Friday except for holidays. Services will continue to be provided over the telephone and internet. The Resiliency Center remains committed to continuing to support those it serves during this public health event. For information, call 702-455-2433, email [email protected], or visit VegasStrongRC.org.

After-hours, anyone experiencing emotional distress related to a disaster incident is encouraged to call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1-800-985-5990 or text “TalkWithUs” at 66746. The helpline, managed by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, is a multilingual resource that provides counseling and support to people 24 hours a day.