Many survivors of the Las Vegas shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, one of the most horrific shootouts in the history of the country, are suffering with severe mental trauma. The shootout left 58 dead, hundreds injured physically and thousands suffering from psychological trauma. The ghastly act, unleashed by the perpetrator who sprayed bullets on an unsuspecting crowd attending a music festival, would stay with them for a long time to come. The survivors are certainly in need of help.
In fact, local officials had promptly set up a GoFundMe page on Oct. 02, which collected funds from more than 88,000 individual donors, amounting to $11.5 million; contributions are still coming in. This is the highest-earning campaign of the site, with an additional $10 million plus donations pouring in from other private, corporate and non-profit organizations.
However, according to the reports published in the Los Angeles Times, thousands of trauma victims would not receive any settlements from the record-breaking $22 million fund set up to help them. The final terms of the fund have not allocated any amount for those suffering psychological trauma from the incident. They have earmarked payouts for three categories—deaths, physical injuries that caused overnight hospitalization and physical injuries that needed outpatient treatment or services of health care providers. Trauma did not fit into any of these categories.
Trauma does not qualify for funds
After conducting two town hall meetings last month and reviewing more than 1,700 public opinions, it was decided to keep mental trauma out of the purview of deserving conditions. Although they wanted to accommodate victims of trauma, the paucity of fund value and a huge volume of people that need to be covered have forced them to take this decision. “It is our desire to recognize and honor all of those whose lives have been forever altered as a result of the horrific events of 1 October, and we recognize the incredible needs of those experiencing psychological trauma,” Fund Chairman Scott Nielson, an erstwhile casino executive, said in a statement.
The fund has already collected $11,725,700 as on Dec. 18, 2017, and will continue with the fundraising until the end of January 2018 to reach the final goal of $15 million. The total Las Vegas fund, including GoFundMe, amounts to around $22 million.
It is a different issue that funds are not enough to cover the Las Vegas trauma victims, but one must recognize that trauma is a serious mental illness that should neither be marginalized or treated lightly. The American Psychological Association (APA) defines trauma as the emotional response of someone to an extremely negative event. Such negative situations could trigger great stress leading to dysfunction in an individual. It calls for treatment to restore her/him to a state of emotional well-being. People feel strong emotions in the aftermath of any traumatic event and need outside help to restore their mental health. Friends and family should come forward to help such victims so that recovery is faster.
Dealing with trauma
Like any other mental illness, psychological trauma also needs immediate treatment. If you have a loved one struggling with trauma, get in touch with any credible residential treatment centers for trauma wherein patients can get the right care and attention.
Sovereign Health is a leading behavioral health treatment provider in the United States, offering comprehensive and evidence-based interventions to patients. Call our 24/7 helpline members for more information on treatment centers for trauma for your loved one. You can even chat online with our representatives to know about our leading state-of-the-art residential trauma treatment centers spread across the country.