As the first anniversary of the shooting at Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church approaches, many of the survivors are still having trouble dealing with the horrors of last November 5th, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
So the Center for Healing and Hope of South Texas, an emotional support practice which is part of the Ecumenical Center of San Antonio, today opened a permanent office in LaVernia to help the people of Sutherland Springs, especially the children, recover
."The children, certainly feel the grief and their lives have been turned upside down, losing mothers and fathers and grandparents and siblings," CEO Mary Beth Fisk said.
Fisk says the center will provide emotional support services for children and adults who are now entering into a new phase of trying to recover from the tragic shooting, which left 20 people dead.“So many people who thought they could handle things on their own are still hurting deeply, and are struggling to come to terms with the loss of friends, family, coworkers and a sense of safety and peace. Many are looking for a safe place where they can talk to someone who can listen and help them heal,” she said.
“A big part of our mission is to meet people where they are, in their own communities. We want residents living in the La Vernia and Sutherland Springs area to know that we are putting roots in this community and we are here to stay. Whether people are in pain because of the shooting or are hurting because of something else going on in their lives, we are here to provide them the support they need, whenever they need us.”
She says PTSD is becoming an issue for the children, and she says a form of therapy called 'play therapy' will be used to help them begin to cope.
"These children need to be able to process," she said. "We have a special program known as play therapy that is available for children, if they can't find the right words to speak what's happening in their heart of what is happening in their mind, they can actually articulate that through play."