The City Beautiful: Home of the Worst Shooting in United States History

In the early morning of June 12, 2016, the city of Orlando was shaken to its core; changed forever. Orlando was the target of a terrorist attack, leaving 50 people (and counting) dead and over 50 more people injured. The act of one person, evil by nature, has made Orlando the place of America’s deadliest mass shooting, in all of our nation’s history. The Orlando community is now filled with confusion, sadness, and disbelief. Many are finding it extremely hard to believe that something like this has happened to The City Beautiful. For many this tragic event comes too soon, just one day after the tragic death of Christina Grimmie—also at the hands of a gunman.

This event brings the realization that if this can happen at a nightclub, a place all of the victims went to last night just to have some fun, then something terrible like this can happen anywhere. How do we respond? How do we move forward? Many are very uncertain of what to do, how to help, and how to console the families of those who lost their lives.

The most important thing a community can do in this situation is remain united and support one another emotionally and mentally, and be ready for any calls to action. Already, hospitals in the area, where victims were taken, have asked for anyone capable to donate O- and O+ blood and AB plasma. Please visit a OneBlood blood bank.

Those who’ve survived the attack or witnessed the horrific scenes may experience Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Signs usually begin early, within 3 months of the incident, but can appear even a year later. A diagnosis requires at least one re-experiencing symptom, one avoidance symptom, two arousal and reactivity symptoms, and two cognition and mood symptoms.

Re-experiencing symptoms:

Flashbacks; reliving it over and over again; having nightmares or frightening thoughts

Avoidance symptoms:

Staying away from places that remind you of the event; feeling emotionally numb; being depressed; feeling guilty for surviving

Arousal and reactivity symptoms:

Being easily startled; having angry outbursts; feeling tense; having trouble sleeping

Cognition and mood symptoms:

Negative thoughts about oneself; loss of interest in enjoyable activities; trouble remembering key features of the event

If you feel you are experiencing symptoms, contact a mental health professional in your area.