Survivors, first responders at Orlando mass shooting at risk for - Montgomery Alabama news.

Survivors, first responders at Orlando mass shooting at risk for PTSD


The people who survived mass shooting in Orlando will be dealing with a lot over the next few days, months and even years.

Joe Currier, Assistant Professor and Clinical Psychologist at the University of South Alabama says about 1 in 10 people suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after a traumatic event.

“PTSD is just one possible response to trauma,” he said.

He says as terrible as the events were in Orlando, the modal response is for people to bounce back in weeks or a couple months. He says everyone’s response is different.

“It’s not out of the ordinary for really strong, resilient, resourceful people to maybe kind of struggle for a while emotionally."

The scene Sunday morning was also traumatic for law enforcement and first responders. Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran says those first on scene often feel guilt, or wonder how they could have saved more lives.

"Remember, the first responders are seeing the most gruesome events. They're stepping over deceased persons and sometimes in fast-moving environments, may be stepping over people that are still alive but in the process of dying, so they see all that and of course they want to help,” he said.

Currier says the key to healing, is the support of friends, family and the community.

“I think it's a call to communities to rise up and support and care for one another more than anything right now," he said.

Currier says the best way to help someone is by simply spending time with them and making sure basic needs are met. He says to offer a shoulder or an ear, but to not push someone to share details before they’re ready.

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