Club Q Colorado shooting: Violence takes toll on mental health of people near and far

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Tragedies like the Colorado Springs shooting can take a toll on the mental health of people near and far.

From the added financial pressure of the holidays to being ousted from 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 being slowly taken away,” said Christine Bryan, director of communications and development at the Persad Center. 

Local organizations like Lawrenceville’s Persad Center, a mental health clinic serving the local LGBTQ community, are extending their services to help anyone who might feel triggered by this most recent act of hate.

But after talking with Liz McBride, one of the center’s therapists, KDKA-TV learned mental health experts 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 ambiguous and fall in the category of ambiguous grief,” McBride added. “People say all the time, particularly about loss, that there’s no right or wrong way to feel it. I try to take that stance, especially with acts of violence.”

Regardless, the Persad Center wants people to know that it is here to assist. 

“We have a swath of therapists who have different interests and specialties, people who can accommodate what our clients particularly need,” McBride said.

Central Outreach on the North Shore is also launching a support group for trans, non-binary and gender-expansive people. It will happen every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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