'Check in with each other': After mass shooting, providers highlight mental health resources

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Thursday, October 27, 2022
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Two weeks after a mass shooting left five people dead and two others injured in southeast Raleigh, mental health providers are working to highlight available resources for those in need.

RALEIGH. N.C. (WTVD) -- Two weeks after a mass shooting left five people dead and two others injured in southeast Raleigh, mental health providers are working to highlight available resources for those in need.

"We need to reach out more in a preventative stage rather than waiting for crisis because we just don't have the resources and beds available for waiting until that last moment. And as we saw in the community unfortunately, the crisis brought the awareness that we need to be doing more before we get to that point," said Sandra Alexander, a physician associate with Gupta Psychiatry who lives in the Hedingham neighborhood.

In response, Alexander worked to connect those in need with mental health providers, including an event next Saturday, November 5th at March Creek Community Center.

"Some nights I sleep better than others. And the way that I found to treat my past PTSD and dealing with this, is helping others helps me," Alexander said.

"I think that we really need to recognize the need for mental health help. There should not be a wait list for patients to get seen. It should be a priority, just like any other illness, whether it's in your body or your mind, we need to tackle this," added Neepa Patel, a physician liaison with the practice.

Providers noted that people grieve differently, and responses to the tragedy can be immediate or delayed.

"It's important for parents to check in with your kids. I think we focus so much on 'how are you doing in school?', 'what is your grade?'; But we don't really ask about their emotional well-being. So I think it's important for us to re-engage and learn to check in with each other," said Patel.

Gerald Givens, president of the Raleigh-Apex chapter of the NAACP, shared his remorse, noting he's lost seven family members to gun violence.

"You have those memories of them. And it's going to take a day-to-day effort of getting up, and remembering them, and honoring them, and still loving them even though they're no longer here with us," said Givens.

In their five-day report released last week, Raleigh Police acknowledged they have not identified a clear motive behind the shooting.

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