‘Still a Lot of Pain’: Four Years After Mass Shooting, Texas Community Grapples With Fallout

by | Aug 15, 2022 | Health

If you or someone you know is in crisis, dial “988” for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline or text HOME to the Crisis Text Line at 741741. (The previous phone number, 800-273-8255, will continue to function indefinitely.)

SANTA FE, Texas — In May 2018, after a high school shooting killed 10 people, the Santa Fe Resiliency Center opened in a church. Any resident could see a counselor, attend a support group, and take part in a healing mandala coloring class, music therapy, or a workshop on emotional first aid — all free of charge.

Today the center sits in a strip mall sandwiched between a seafood restaurant and vacant storefronts. On a recent evening, instead of patients filling the waiting room, counselors saw clients over video from their offices. The center looks empty but, according to therapists, the need is still there.

“There is still a lot of pain,” said Jacquelyn Poteet, a chatty therapist who runs the center. About 186 people see counselors every month, but she said far more people probably need the services in the city of nearly 13,000 people. “A lot of people don’t even realize they’ve got trauma.”

Recently, she said, a former high school student had contemplated suicide. It was a “really close call,” she said. “We’re not out of the woods.”

In the past four years, millions of dollars for mental health services has flooded this city, which feels remote even though it is only 6 miles off the high …

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