MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – As the one year mark approaches since nine lost their lives and more than 30 others were injured in the Oregon District shooting, county leaders are urging those still suffering to seek help.
Among many resources, through the Montgomery Prosecutor’s Victim and Witness Division, there is a 24-hour hotline for those still dealing with the tragedy, because as Montgomery County Alcohol Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) said, there’s no set timeline for grieving.
The Oregon District shooting happened almost a full year ago, on August 4, and ADAMHS officials said mental wounds can be reopened at any time, especially during moments of significance.
“There may be people who maybe didn’t necessarily react to what happened a year ago, but something about it this year, with everything else that’s going on, pulls up all those emotions for them and suddenly they don’t know what to do with that,” said Dr. Helen Jones-Kelley, ADAMHS Executive Director.
Both Jones-Kelley and Montgomery County Prosecutor, Mat Heck, said it’s so important for anyone who may be suffering with anxiety or stress related to the tragedy to get help. Heck said their 24-hour hotline is available to help those along the path of healing.
“With this coronavirus especially, people cannot have a lot of outside interest or exposure to other people, I think it’s important that they know they can pick up the phone and know that they’re having a conversation with someone that has experience with what they’re dealing with,” said Heck.
Heck said his victim advocates handle any of the 5,000 cases that come across his office every year. They also were there about a half hour after the shooting to help counsel survivors and victims’ loved ones.
“We’ve still been working with family members on those cases, and so they have created a relationship with one of my victim advocates,” said Heck. “So, especially with the anniversary of that terrible event coming up, they can certainly obtain more services if they wish.”
One of those extra services he highly recommends is ADAMHS’ Get Help Now app.
“It’s not going to be easy for most of us because all of us can either point to someone we knew or someone that we’ve met since then that had some level of involvement on August 4, but we want people to know that those responses are perfectly normal,” said Jones-Kelley. “We need to push through, get help and get to the other side.”
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