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Counselor shares ways to cope after recent tragedies

Posted at 6:48 PM, Aug 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 23:04:28-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In the early hours of October 2, 2017, David Robeck woke up to a ding.

"That's when I got a text message urgent from a friend of mine on the East Coast asking if I was okay," said Robeck, CEO of Bridge Counseling Associates, a non-profit that offers individual and family counseling.

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Robeck turned on the TV to see his community at the center of the country's worst mass shooting to date. He jumped in his car and rushed to open the clinic, knowing people would need help.

"That began my stress for the shooting and really, in many ways, it hasn't stopped since," said Robeck.

Robeck said many people who were not at Route 91 are still affected by it.

"They are thinking, 'I'm not a victim, I don't need help.' But you indeed do need help."

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Daniel Ficalora is the clinical program manager at Bridge Counseling Associates. He describes American culture today as high stress. With the news of mass shootings, Ficalora said we begin to internalize negative emotions like hurt, anger, sadness, guilt, and shame.

Those emotions, if not dealt with, can show up in other areas of our lives.

"Stress in general can lead to physical ailments," Ficalora said.

"It can lead to heart disease, it can lead to problems with sleeping. When we start talking about mental health or mental illness, we're talking about depression, anxiety. After traumatic events we talk about post-traumatic stress disorder."

Ficalora said that increased stress can lead to substance abuse issues and anger. He encourages everyone to find balance in their lives through proper nutrition, sleep, exercise and even in the media you're consuming.

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Therapy can also help.

"Whether or not you're living a fully functional life or that you've been through significant trauma and you're struggling to cope right now, spending an hour focusing on yourself with someone that's trained and has the tools and knowledge to help you out can't be bad thing."