EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The number of people seeking counseling has increased in the area since the Walmart shooting. However, emotional challenges could come up weeks or even months later.
Celeste Nevarez, a Licensed Professional Counselor at Emergence Health Network, said the average number of calls they’ve received after the shooting has increased by three or four times on some days.
She said some people will experience delayed reaction to trauma.
“Statistically speaking, after a tragedy like this we hit what is called the home town hero phase and so we see a spike in folks feeling better, seeking out services, or spending more time with family. So some of those symptoms or grief may not be as evident or prevalent,” said Nevarez.
“A new wave of emotions such as grief or loss, confusion, frustration, whatever it may be, might actually come back within the next few weeks. It can be something that is unsettling because you think, I’ve already moved past this. What is this feeling or where did this come from? And I invite people to know that it’s incredibly normal.”
Emergence Health Network is also part of the EP Strong Counseling Co-op making mental health professionals available throughout the city for free.
The free counseling is available through August 23rd. Click here to learn more.