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HELPING HAND | Kansas City groups offer resources after Chiefs rally shooting

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Posted at 9:14 PM, Feb 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-15 14:07:30-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Countless community members have been affected by the trauma of living through a mass shooting after gunfire erupted following the conclusion of the Chiefs Kingdom Champions Victory rally outside Union Station.

In the wake of the violence, resources are being made available to help Kansas City process the incident.

Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office 

Counselors and social workers will be available from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday at the United Church of Christ in Brookside, located at 205 W. 65th St.

Services are free and confidential.

“The shootings at Union Station following the Kansas City Chief’s victory parade on Wednesday marred a beautiful celebration. These horrible events can create deep emotional trauma for persons involved or persons who witnessed the violence,” the prosecutor’s office shared in a statement. “Family members can also be greatly impacted. The prosecutor’s office has staff trained to engage individuals dealing with such emotional trauma. We also are enlisting other local agencies that provide such counseling.”

The Child Protection Center will also assist the prosecutor’s office.

United Church of Christ can be contacted at 816-523-4813. Parking is available on the street.

School districts 

In Missouri, Blue Springs said the district’s crisis team of counselors, social workers and licensed provisional counselors.

“Our hearts are heavy this evening after the devastating events following today’s Super Bowl celebration,” the district shared in a statement. “This tragedy has likely impacted many community members, staff, and students. As always, the Blue Springs School District has trusted adults available for any student or staff member needing time to process and cope with these events

Blue Springs also shared resources for parents to use when guiding conversations about what happened with their children.

In Kansas, the Shawnee Mission School District sent a note to families about the shooting.
“We know that some of our students will struggle to make sense of what has happened. We will have counselors and social workers available at all of our buildings in the morning and in the days to come, to provide support to students who need it,” the statement said in part.

Therapist’s advice 

Amanda Davis, director of therapy services at Saint Luke’s Hospital’s Crittenton Children’s Center, shared some tips for speaking with kids about what happened with KSHB’s Tod Palmer.

She said to be aware of any changes in a child.

“It’s really normal for little kids especially to process big things like that in small chunks. So, they might give you two sentences today and go back to playing like they’re completely normal, and you’re like, 'Whew, glad that wasn’t a big thing,'" Davis said. "But they might come back tomorrow and just randomly, 'Hey, do you remember when this happened? That was really scary yesterday.' That’s totally normal for kids to process things in little small chunks, so don’t be afraid if that happens.”

After a traumatic event, the memories and feelings can pop back up as those who experienced it understand what happened in a new light.

“We know that sometimes, the people who witnessed or who were bystanders can have just as large of an effect in terms of a trauma impact, depending on how they experienced it, maybe what their past experiences were and then also their resiliency moving forward," Davis said. "Each kiddo is very, very different, and so you may have a child who witnessed it that actually has more psychological trauma than a child who experienced it.”

Crisis Hotline 

Dial 988 to be connected to the national suicide and crisis lifeline.

Children's Mercy Hospital

Children's Mercy Hospital has compiled a list of tips for adults to care for children who witnessed the tragic events of the mass shooting.

The guide answers many questions parents and caretakers may have, including: when to seek help immediately, and how parents, teachers and caregivers can help.

It also addresses key points, such as signs of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The guide also lists resources outside of Children's Mercy Hospital.