MUSC provides free grief counseling after church shooting

MUSC provides free grief counseling after church shooting
(Photo Source: Alex Giles)

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - As people begin to return to their normal routine in the wake of Charleston church shooting and a series of funerals for the nine victims, an MUSC center is offering help in the healing process.

The National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center is offering free resources to assist the community.

"Traumatic grief is different from loss of natural consequences." says Dr. Alyssa Rheingold, director of the National Crime Victim Center at MUSC. "It's often prolonged and intense and folks can sort of get stuck."

Research suggests most people don't seek mental health counseling when they may need it.

"If they're really having trouble working or doing what they need to do on a day to day basis because they're extra fearful or extra depressed," Rheingold says. "That's sort of an indicator that they might want to see some additional assistance.".

Rheingold says it's important for parents to talk to their children, but warns children may not always verbalize what going on in their mind.

"Kids understand things a lot more than we think they do," she says. "They are also grieving and they're scared just as adults are."

She offers advice about how to talk with your children when you may not have the right words to say.

"Have a conversation about how people can help each other and point out some of the positives from it, how the community has shown resilience and come together," Rheingold says.

The Center provides free support group services, mental heath counseling and trauma and grief counseling for families and the community.

"Be supportive not only now, which is what everybody is doing, but also in a month from now, six months from now, and 18 months from now," Rheingold says. "That's when people are really going to need it."

Survivors of Homicide Support Group Services Weekly Meetings:

First and Third Thursday of each month
Time: 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. 
Location: National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center, 67 Presidents St.
2nd Floor, South Entrance

Second Thursday of each month
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: John Wesley United Methodist Church 
626 Savannah Hwy. in West Ashley

Fourth Thursday Of Each Month
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Location: Park Circle Community Center

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