State points to mental health help after Dadeville mass shooting

Emotional trauma surrounds the Dadeville mass shooting.
Published: May. 2, 2023 at 10:02 PM CDT|Updated: May. 2, 2023 at 10:16 PM CDT
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DADEVILLE, Ala. (WSFA) - Some say time heals most wounds, but for those who witnessed the Dadeville mass shooting, the emotional scars could last a lifetime.

“Trauma really does have a much stronger impact than just that one day, and so we need people to reach out and seek help,” said Kim Boswell, commissioner of the Alabama Department of Mental Health.

Mental health professionals were on the ground the day after the shooting to assist people that were directly impacted.

That help is still available, and it is not just for those who were at that birthday party. Boswell said it was a traumatic event for the whole community, even to those who weren’t there.

Several communities have been affected by this attack, including Pike Road. That is why mental health professionals in Montgomery County have stepped in.

“There’s no shame with seeking out help with mental health and behavioral health issues,” said Donna Leslie, the executive director of Carastar Health in Montgomery.

Professionals say stress and anxiety are signs people should watch for. Experts with Carastar Health also want people to watch for changes in behavior.

“Don’t be afraid to ask that person ‘what’s going on?’” Leslie said.

It is a simple question that could prompt a loved one into opening up and getting professional support.

People seeking mental health assistance can always dial the national 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

The Alabama Department of Mental Health also has resources, including crisis centers in the state, available on its website.

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