Metro group says signs of PTSD could be seen after Olathe triple - KCTV5

Metro group says signs of PTSD could be seen after Olathe triple-shooting

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Adkins  says witnessing violence like the shooting can result in depression, anxiety and even suicide. (KCTV5) Adkins says witnessing violence like the shooting can result in depression, anxiety and even suicide. (KCTV5)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

It’s been six days since the deadly Olathe restaurant shooting.

One metro mental health specialist group says now is the time that people start to see signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The group, Pathway to Hope, advocates and supports people suffering with mental illnesses.

They say, whether people were in the restaurant, in the neighborhood locked down or simply fear that this could happen to them, it’s normal for an event of this magnitude to have an effect.

And for people who are okay, the group says it’s important to reach out to those who aren’t.

Moments after getting word of the restaurant ambush, Kiersten Adkins took to her blog.

“It was a big deal in my mind immediately,” Adkins said.

Adkins titled her post “When Disaster Trauma Comes Home.” She knew, as Executive Director of Pathway to Hope, that this tragedy would hit the community hard.

“Shocked. Scared. Just shocked. Worried for my friends. This just, it doesn't happen here. We just don't have shootings in Olathe and it's just, we are all just kind of in shock,” Christy Fish, a woman with friends at Austin’s during the shooting, said.

Adkins says such shock can turn to PTSD.

In her blog she explains, “Our little city went on high alert as a favorite hangout went from dinner and cheers for KU basketball to a full-on crime scene investigation.”

She says violence, in such an innocent place, will spark triggers for people no matter the connection. It could happen days, weeks, or even months after the event.

“Why is the guy sitting next to me on the barstool doing fine and I’m not doing okay, or I was just stuck in my house for several hours why is this bothering me so much,” Adkins said.

Adkins advice, don’t view such feelings as a weakness. instead, get help.

She says witnessing violence like the shooting can result in depression, anxiety and even suicide, which is why it’s important to know the signs.

“Not being able to go to work, not feeling like there’s meaning to life, feeling like other people understand, withdrawing from things that bring you comfort, those are some of the things that begin to happen,” Adkins said.

There are specific ways to talk about traumatic events with your kids.

The National Institute for Mental Health has a list of what parents should and shouldn't do.

On that list, don’t make them talk about the event before their ready, but when they are you do want to let them know that you will always do whatever you can to keep them safe. If they don’t talk, have them write or draw to discuss their feelings.

More information about PTSD can be found here.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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