Mental scars remain for many 1 October victims - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

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Mental scars remain for many 1 October victims

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More than four months after many 1 October victims have continued to suffer, with invisible wounds. More than four months after many 1 October victims have continued to suffer, with invisible wounds.
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

More than four months after 1 October, many victims have continued to suffer, with invisible wounds. 

“I can't process. I can't sleep, it's just hard," Daniel Rosales, who worked as an usher with his wife at the Route 91 Harvest Festival, said.  

"I thought we were going to die (that night)" he said. 

"Reliving it every night and trying to sleep, it's hard, that's when it comes back at night," Rosales's wife Jennie Redondo Rosales said.

(The shooter) took a lot from us, from everybody, a lot of people, hurt a lot of people, need to get it out of us. You don't have no cuts, no blood on you, but mentally scarred every single day. You wake up, it's there, you dream, it's there," Rosales said.

That 'it' is the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, where 58 people were killed as bullets rained down from Mandalay Bay's 32nd floor.

(People) don't understand. I was there. I lived it. I lived that," Rosales said.

(Victims show) tearfulness, mood changes, nightmares, sleep, some people isolate more, others do more impulsive things. There's not a protocol for everyone's going to act this way," Zdenka Prus with Seven Hills Hospital said. 

"I don't get no paid vacation or anything," Redondo Rosales said.

She works as an usher at Planet Hollywood's Axis Theater. "Financially speaking, you couldn't take time off."

So she went back to work, surrounded by screaming crowds, a thumping bass and flashing lights. But she was ok, until New Year's Eve.

"It sounded like shooting came back. Loud bangs ... my first big trigger I guess," she said.

"I was trying to stay strong for the kids. I didn't want them to see me like that, but it was hard."

"If you're sitting out there and still finding that every day is a struggle, and you don't feel like things are getting easier, you should consider getting extra help. Some people get stuck," John Duerr, the clinical director for mental health provider Harmony Healthcare said. "And it's ok if you're stuck. It's ok. It's normal to get stuck. Everybody's brain works a little differently. Sometimes that thought process helps you move on, or get stuck.

(On Oct. 1) we were getting ready for bed and heard so many sirens and stuff,” Duerr said.

So he turned on the news.

"I woke up as many therapists I work with to try to get them activated,” he said.

Hours after the shooting, therapists from Harmony Healthcare and Seven Hills Hospital descended onto the Las Vegas Strip to start providing support to anyone, anywhere who needed to talk through the trauma. They were there from about 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.

Counselors from all over the valley joined in. Mental health professionals from all over the country flew in to volunteer their time. For the first week following 1 October, more than 500 trained therapists set up shop to support victims, employees, families.  On site clinical support continued the entire month of Oct.

"The grand scale of this was harder than anything else. That there were no breaks from it, just being there down on the Strip, you had to constantly think about it. You couldn't turn it off,” Duerr said.

"I get caught off guard when I talk about the mass of therapists helping, I get choked up thinking how amazing that was,” Duerr said.

When something like this happens, it doesn't target one person, it affects everyone in different ways. Even healthcare professionals, we are working in the field but we may be traumatized by what we heard or have seen," Prus said. 

The mental health professionals were first responders too, treating wounds that for thousands of our neighbors, may last longer than physical ones.

"We have skills and training that enables us to improve people's lives," Duerr said. 

Daniel said he is going to counseling.

"(The therapist has) been helping me,” Rosales said. He said he wants to reach out to other people he thinks can be helped too.

(Find a) therapist, counselor, don't be afraid. If not, you're going to be like this your entire life. You don't want to live like this."

Resources for people affected by the shooting are available at Seven Hills Hospital, who can be contacted at (866) 331-5541, and at Harmony Healthcare at (800) 363-4874.

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