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The Day After: How Do We Talk About This

Brent Holmes

The identities of some of the victims of Sunday night’s shooting are starting to emerge.


And many questions remain about how we all move forward. Candlelight vigils are a starting point. 


But how do you talk to your children? How do we talk to each other about what happened? Can we even begin to make sense of it all?


Counselors, psychologists, psychiatrists and mental health professionals from across Southern Nevada have provided their services to people in need, whether its survivors of the massacre, those who saw it happen from their hotel room or first responders that assisted the wounded.


Dr. Jordan Soper is licensed psychologist with special training in trauma response. 


She said the mental health community is focusing on building a foundation for the long-term care and support of people in the community who need them.


"The thing about trauma response is it is a process," Soper said. "There is no right or wrong way to go through these experiences."


She said feeling shocked, horrified, terrified, angry or disgusted are all natural emotions. Soper also said feeling nothing or a feeling of numbness are also normal feelings to have.


"There is no wrong way to respond to an abnormal situation," she said.

Soper suggests taking a break from coverage of the shooting and the aftermath. She said not taking a break from constantly watching or reading about the tragedy can make things worse.


"Often in the aftermath of a tragedy such as this, people feel very out of control," she said,."Their agency, their control in their own life feels very ripped away, feels very vulnerable, in a way that they've been violated," she said.


For people who need help, The Nevada Psychology Association has information about free or reduced services for counseling on their  disaster resource page.







Jordan Soper, psychologist

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)
Kristy Totten is a producer at KNPR's State of Nevada. Previously she was a staff writer at Las Vegas Weekly, and has covered technology, education and economic development for the Las Vegas Review-Journal. She's a graduate of the Missouri School of Journalism.