‘Don’t push it down;’ Psychologist shares ways to heal after Beavercreek Walmart shooting

Four people are in the hospital after they were shot inside a Beavercreek Walmart.

Many others were not injured physically but may be affected mentally.

News Center 7′s Kayla McDermott spoke with a therapist who said it’s going to take time for people to recover.

“They’re replaying events in their head. ‘What happened, oh my gosh did this really happen?” Julie Manuel, clinical program manager at Kettering Health said.

Questions many survivors could be asking for the rest of their lives.

>>UPDATE: Dayton man identified as Walmart mass shooter, 4 still hospitalized

These are questions Clinical Psychologist Dr. Kathy Platoni asked herself when she survived the shooting at Fort Hood in 2009.

“You can’t unsee tragedy like this. This kind of trauma is unforgettable,” Platoni said.

She said Monday night’s shooting reminded her of her trauma.

“Just sent chills up and down my spine and took me back to a place that’s very hard to forget,” Platoni said.

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As a psychologist with first-hand survival experience, Platoni knows what people are dealing with.

“People who were not targeted for whatever reason are going to feel terrible that they weren’t the ones who sustained these critical injuries,” she said.

But she said talking is the first step in healing.

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“People need to be heard and people also need to listen to the support that’s been provided to them,” Platoni said.

Manuel agrees.

“Talk about what you are feeling, don’t push it down and just say ‘I’ll deal with that next week,” Manuel said.

Especially this week, when the majority of people will be surrounded by loved ones.

“Talk to your family, talk to your friends, whoever your closest members are,” she said.

Platoni is a part of the Southwest Ohio Critical Incident Stress Management Team (CISM), which helps people, including first responders, through traumatic events.

CISM can be contacted at 513-825-2260.

More information on coping with a traumatic event can be found here.