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VA Offers Counseling to Employees, Veterans Following Shooting
DAYTON -- Following the shooting at the Dayton VA Medical Center, Medical Director Glenn Costie said mental health treatment will be available to VA employee's and veterans.
"I have post traumatic stress, and I really got some stress in there," said Gil Smith, a veteran who was evacuated from the scene.
Clinical Psychologist Bruce Kline says situations like Monday's events -- FBI, police, evacuations and an active shooter -- are the type to cause post traumatic stress, which is difficult to treat.
"It's resistive to treatment because the events that cause it are so dramatic, so significant," said Kline.
"It's kind of sad because there are people here to get counseling for this very reason and I'm just sad for them that this is going to trip off like PTSD," said Robin Crossley, who was at the VA on Monday and was evacuated.
Kline said the active-shooter situation can make people already suffering from PTSD retreat into isolation.
"Putting up a front if you will, or putting your best foot forward is a way to get through a day. But they're festering on the inside with a lot of negative thinking," he said.
PTSD is diagnosed in 10 percent of women and 5 percent of men per year, according to Kline.
Common symptoms include:
1. Reliving the traumatic incident
2. Avoiding similar situations
3. Feeling of numbness
4. Feeling of self-change
5. Feeling on-edge
"Where it becomes problematic is when those worries and anxieties become generalized toward the rest of your life," Kline said, adding that if it's left untreated that it can lead to irrational actions.
"If it is spiteful, meaning somebody is going to have to pay for what happened to me, who shall I target for that. Who's caused me pain," Kline described.
Employees and veterans who were at the scene and evacuated Monday are urged to take advantage of the counseling the VA is providing.
The VA did close facilities for police to investigate, but they are back open for business and appointments.
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