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Recent violence prompts plea from police, mental health experts to seek help if needed

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Posted at 8:04 PM, Mar 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-04 08:58:30-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — After a series of murder-suicides and unprovoked violent attacks and killings in the Las Vegas area, police and mental health professionals are urging people to seek help if they need it.

“We’re all dealing with the restrictions of COVID and the current economic environment,” says Lt. Ray Spencer, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “There’s a lot of stress out there.”

It's an eerily similar theme echoed by the department following some recent devastating crime investigations.

On Wednesday, a boy found his parents shot dead in an apparent murder-suicide west of Mountain's Edge.

Over the weekend, another murder-suicide happened in Summerlin at an apartment complex.

Police say a husband shot his wife and then turned the gun on himself.

UPDATE: Coroner identifies bodies found in Summerlin apartment

“There were some financial problems that the couple were having,” says Lt. Spencer.

Last Wednesday, after a domestic incident between a man and his girlfriend, police say he went upstairs and killed his neighbor.

RELATED: Man arrested after an unprovoked attack left neighbor dead

Mendi Baron with Elemental Treatment Center says the pandemic has undoubtedly contributed to a wide variety of issues.

“It’s not a result of COVID itself, but it’s a result of being in this situation,” says Baron, psychotherapist. “Across the board, we’ve seen a very big increase in demand.”

Despite the increased use of mental health services, Baron says many simply don’t think there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“It’s not just struggling financially, for many people who don’t have resources or family, there really is nothing,” says Baron.

RELATED: Psychologist offers online tips to help your mental health

Police are echoing similar messages and are reminding folks that there is assistance for families, no matter their situation.

“There’s a lot of free resources for families that are under tremendous stress,” says Lt. Spencer. “Those resources can prevent something like this from happening.”

Police say you can reach out to the Southern Nevada Family Justice Center if you need help or call 211.