Mending The Mind

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Jun 20, 2013 at 1:22 PM EST

Binghamton, NY (WBNG Binghamton) - The recovery process is an ongoing one for anyone affected by a traumatic experience, like the ACA shooting.

Action News reporter Natalie Jenereski joined us from the live desk to tell us how for many, the past year has been a time to heal.

Immediate psychological and emotional support was crucial for victims, their families, and first responders.

Initial response to the shooting included assistance centers from Broome County and across New York State.

After one year, many victims are still reaching out to mental health services for comfort and relief.

More than 30 people who were affected by the shooting are still seeking counseling.

Many of those people are emergency response personnel.

"There was a 911 staff person on the phone with someone, who had been shot, for quite a while listening to everything that was going on. It's pretty traumatic to that person," said Art Johnson, Commissioner of Broome County Social Services.

Units were debriefed after the day's events, but many are still seeking help.

That's why The Crime Victims Assistance Center is keeping its satellite office at the Broome County Health Department on Front Street open until May.

"We're still providing the emotional support and working to try and transition them too, we don't want them left at the end of May so either they'll be transitioned into the community services someplace else or up here at Robinson Street.," said Raini Baudendistel, Executive Director of CVAC.

Mental Health Services of the Southern Tier helped victims find the right therapy for them.

The executive director of the organization says he doesn't think anyone should have to suffer alone.

Counselors want to be easily accessible to anyone needing help during the first year after the shooting.

"I think at this point, if individuals are still struggling and finding it difficult to heal, that they might want to consider reaching out to a mental health professional who may have some alternative approaches to moving through that grieving process, which is perfectly normal and healthy," said Keith Leahey, Executive Director of MHAST.

Counseling service personnel were working around the clock for weeks after the shooting to help those in need, and one year later, their doors and their hearts are still wide open.

At the live desk, Natalie Jenereski, WBNG-TV Action News.

Mental Health experts say post traumatic stress disorder is a common mental illness to have after this kind of tragedy.

Signs of PTSD include pre-occupation or constant re-living of the traumatic event, as well as avoidance of the traumatic experience or the place it happened.

There are nearly 8-million Americans who have been diagnosed with PTSD.

If you think you have PTSD, or just need support during this time, you can call the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier at 771-8888

You can also call the Crime Victims Assistance Center at 722-4256.

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