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Southland nonprofit hosts private support group for mass shooting survivors

Survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting come together as another tragedy reopens old wounds
Survivors of the Las Vegas mass shooting come together as another tragedy reopens old wounds 02:29

Survivors of the Route 91 shooting and their families gathered together for a private support group after the latest mass shooting in Texas reopened old wounds. 

"We know that they can be triggered by this and it kind of brings them back to the space that they went through," said director Kristi Thompson. 

Thompson and her nonprofit "Give An Hour" hosted a private support group for the survivors, and their families, of the 2017 mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas — the deadliest in American history. She hoped to provide help and support for those feeling re-traumatized by the mass shooting at a Texas elementary school that claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers Tuesday.

"The fact that it was young children involved in this made it especially brutal, and folks are really kind of slowing down," said Thompson. "Trying to take good care of themselves today and connect with others to try to get through it."

Thompson said she believes the path forward for the survivors and their families is about long-term recovery and continued therapy. The trauma experienced could be affecting people on a much deeper level than many realize. 

"A lot of trauma. I think every time we see another shooting... we get traumatized again and again and again," said clinical therapist Debrah Schanck. 

As the lead clinical therapist with Loma Linda University Behavioral Health in Murrieta, Schnack said that the best practice everyone can do is to be compassionate to themselves and other people trying to navigate through this tragedy. 

"I'd say go to the people you love and reach out to them," she said. "Talk to a friend if you're having a difficult time."

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