How to handle Las Vegas PTSD and finances

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A week after the shootings in Las Vegas, victims and survivors are figuring out how to return to back to everyday life, this includes sorting out associated finances.

Grief and trauma therapist Norman Wright frequently goes to shooting scenes to help.

“This was above and beyond anything I had ever experienced before,” said Wright.

Wright says survivors might be experiencing symptoms including intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, startled responses, and hypervigilance.

“There's an incredible amount of survivor's guilt that we're finding with people,” said Wright.

He advises to get help immediately if people are dealing with PTSD.

“People need to tell their story. They need to find that there is hope there is help for them,” said Wright. “It's going to be rough for a while but there's certain things that people can do that will make a big difference.”

He says tools like talking to a friend who can listen or hand writing out your story will help. Also, seeking out counseling. The district attorney is available to help find funding for those costs.

“[For] anything that comes out of pocket, there is a means of getting government assistance to help pay for this,” said Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman. “Because this is something that as a society we should be helping people do.”

The state of California and the state of Nevada coordinated to create one simple form for people who were at the Route 91 concert to fill out in order to be reimbursed for costs including income loss, funeral arrangements and mental health treatment.

The DA says the first step is to see if bills can be covered by people's personal insurance. If there are additional costs, the state of Nevada will give victims and survivors up to $35,000, of that $5,000 can go to therapy. Should costs exceed that, the state of California then steps in. California will give individuals a total of $70,000, with $10,000 of that going toward mental health.

You can find the form for financial aid here

“Everybody has to realize that this is going to take not days, not weeks, but months and years,” said Wright. “This is what happens in trauma.”

Additionally, a free grief support group will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Hoffmann Hospice Home 4401 Buena Vista. The session is open to the public with a focus to help the Las Vegas survivors.

 

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