Suggestions for healing from traumatic events like the Walmart shooting

Suggestions for healing from traumatic events like the Walmart shooting
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 7:10 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Thursday marks one week since the shooting at the west-side Walmart in Evansville.

Traumatic events like the shooting in which police shot and killed the suspect, Ronald Mosely, can cover emotions that can remain hidden for some time.

“It could be months before people develop symptoms,” said President and Owner of Into the Light Therapist Laura Symon.

The doors reopened less than a week following the shooting and Symon says customers and employees can still be navigating the trauma.

“No one knows how it feels to be an employee that was not there, and they don’t know what it’s like to have that anxiety of walking back into that store,” Symon said. “What we know about trauma is that once you have one trauma, if you’re not able to clear that from your body and you have another one, it can really have a compounding effect.”

Symon says for those who were inside the store at the time of the shooting, talking about the situation could potentially make things worse.

“We know that the more we talk through things, many times the more it’s imprinted in our minds, and it can actually exacerbate PTSD symptoms,” Symon said.

A Walmart employee tells 14 News that counseling the company offered ended Wednesday.

“I would hope Walmart nationally would do the right thing by the employees of the Evansville stores,” Symon said. “Not only the west side stores but the east side stores as well.”

When we reached out to Walmart for a comment, they issued the following statement:

“We work to create a safe and healthy environment for our associates and understand last week’s incident was extremely difficult. We have several resources available intended to promote mental well-being and encourage any associate needing additional support to reach out to their manager.”

Symon recommends if you decide to attend therapy, be sure to find a therapist that you are comfortable with.

She added that if you would like to handle the trauma on your own, you can try some of the following suggestions:

  • Yoga, Meditation, Prayer
  • Functional Medicine
  • Breath Work
  • SEP or EMDR Therapy
  • Weighted Blankets
  • Emotional Support Animals (ESA)

If you or someone you know is struggling with trauma or mental health, you can also call the new mental health hotline by dialing 988.