Health counselors available for West victims - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Health counselors available for West victims

WEST, TX (KXXV) -

As hero firefighters are laid to rest, the mental health of families and residents affected by the explosion in West is becoming a priority.

Dozens of local therapists and counselors are responding. Everyone will respond differently to the tragic plant explosion. The help is out there in West, and mental health experts are encouraging people to receive counseling.

One Waco psychologist posted on her Facebook wall requesting for assistance from other mental health counselors to give one or two free sessions to the emergency responders and West victims. Over 200 shares on her Facebook status and 80-100 therapists all responded to offer help. And she is still receiving responses.

The most important time for West victims will be the next few weeks because the shock phase will start to go away.

"It's really not until all the attention and activity has died down when people begin to experience the emotions that can go along with this grief process or trauma response," said Dr. Katy Britt-Sharp.

PTSD is a main concern for therapists. This will take time to develop over a longer period of time and the faster you get help, the better it will be.

As a West town hall meeting on Tuesday, Mayor Tommy Muska encouraged everyone to get the help they need, just like he did.

"Reach out and really accept the resources that are available," said Britt-Sharp. "There may be an individual who's not traditionally comfortable accepting help but in this situation, it's important to take advantage of the resources that are available."

Mental health counselors and therapists will be on site at West for anyone in need of them.

To receive counseling help, contact MHMR or American Red Cross

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