PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tragedies like the Colorado Springs shooting can affect the mental health of people near and far.
From the added financial pressure of the holidays to shunning family gatherings over things like gender identity or sexuality, mental health experts who work with the LGBTQ community say this time of year can be difficult.
And Saturday’s mass shooting at an LGBTQ nightclub only adds to the grief people are already experiencing.
“Churches, movie theaters, bars, nightclubs, people need to be able to go to places where they can be themselves and be authentic, and those are slowly being taken away,” said Christine Bryan, director of communications and development at the Persad Center. . .
Local organizations like the Persad Center of Lawrenceville, a mental health clinic serving the local LGBTQ community, are expanding their services to help anyone who may feel triggered by this latest act of hate.
But after speaking with Liz McBride, one of the center’s therapists, KDKA-TV’s mental health experts learned that they are noticing that many clients are becoming desensitized to the violence we continue to see.
“I think because it keeps happening,” McBride said.
“A lot of things are more vague and fall into the category of vague grief,” McBride added. “People say all the time, especially about loss, that there’s no right or wrong way to feel it. I try to keep that attitude, especially with acts of violence.”
Regardless, the Persad Center wants people to know it’s here to help.
“We have a variety of therapists who have different interests and specialties, people who can accommodate what our clients specifically need,” McBride said.
Central Outreach on the North Shore is also launching a support group for trans, non-binary and gender fluid people. It will happen every Wednesday from 15:30 to 16:30
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