Trying to heal the soul after the Orlando shooting

ORLANDO -- Earlier this week, CBS News reported about the heroic work of skilled doctors to heal the bodies of the wounded in Orlando.

Today, we report on the souls needing attention, too.

Therapy dogs arrive to help Orlando shooting victims

In a small house in downtown Orlando, healing starts with a call for help at an LGBT resource center.

It's also in the work of a performer called Blue Star, reeling from news of a friend's death, but continuing to offer support from her theater headquarters.

"Providing love. Anything that we can do to insure that someone makes it through this day and that when they wake up tomorrow they know they have a safe place to go," Blue said.

And for people like Aaron Hernandez, healing begins with a vigil for those who were lost.

Hernandez said he lost five friends in the shooting.

"I think that my best way for me to get better is to be surrounded by people that I love," he said.

Since 9/11, research has taught mental health experts that the best medicine immediately following traumatic events is not having people relive the events in their minds, but instead making them feel safe, calm, and connected to others.

All around this grieving city, there are signs of healing.

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Blue Star.

"When it's your family, it's your community, unless people experience it, you can never explain to them how deep the cut actually is," said Blue.

How does the cut heal?

"I don't know," Blue said.

No one knows, but this is how it begins.

  • Jon Lapook
    Jonathan LaPook

    Dr. Jonathan LaPook is the chief medical correspondent for the CBS Evening News. Follow him on Twitter at @DrLaPook