Is anyone ever really “ready” for grief? Probably not. It can affect people behaviorally, physically, emotionally, socially … The list goes on. It’s about as different as each individual who experiences it. As a licensed mental health provider for Give an Hour, Bob Stead understands this all too well and stepped up in a big way to offer support to the entire community in Uvalde by spearheading a free mental health clinic available to anyone in town who may need help following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School.
We know that tragedies affect survivors and their families and those who lost loved ones. It also takes a tremendous toll on the rest of the community — especially in a town as close-knit as Uvalde – and we want to ensure everyone who needs help can share their story with a licensed professional at no cost to them.
If You Build It, They Will Come
Bob also happens to be an ambassador for Give an Hour and knew that it might take a bit longer for those indirectly related to the tragedy to realize they may need to talk with someone to help process their grief and feelings. There are immediate needs that must be addressed in Uvalde but the long-term effects on the mental health and emotional wellness of the community as a whole are yet to be determined.
Providers are already receiving visits from students who were in the classrooms where the shooting took place, as well as moms and grandparents. Entire families are touched by this tragedy.
“We are here to offer support and believe we can make a significant impact on the community,” said Bob. “It’s important to address the long-term trauma suffered by the community and we are here to help.”
It Takes a Village
As word of the free clinic starts to spread through town, more people are coming forward to seek out help. And we are ready!
From the licensed providers around the country who are volunteering their services (both in person and virtually) and the local library that is offering space, to people in communities around Texas who provided translation and printing services, all the pieces of the puzzle are necessary to make this clinic happen for the people of Uvalde.
And let’s not forget the provider who reached out to her own community of neighbors who stepped up to supply cozy blankets, pillows, bean bag chairs, water, juice boxes, snacks and art supplies to create a safe space for anyone who visits the clinic.
How We Help
Mental health providers initially estimate eight to 12 weeks will be necessary to work with community members to process the initial stages of grief and, at this point, licensed, mental health care professionals are providing one-on-one or family counseling in-person or virtually.
However, based on our experience with the Route 91 Heals program, Give an Hour anticipates a much longer-term need and is committed to helping Uvalde by providing mental health educational tools and other appropriate resources to address trauma and grief associated with this horrific day.
“When tragedies occur, many step up in the initial aftermath,” said Dr. Trina Clayeux, CEO of Give an Hour. “Give an Hour’s experience positions us to be here for what comes next. We’re in it for the long haul.”
The clinic welcomes all age groups from children and teens to adults and families and is taking place at the El Progreso Memorial Library located at 301 W Main St. in Uvalde. Clinic hours are Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Spanish-speaking providers also are available. To schedule an appointment, contact Bob Stead at 210-843-1540 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
All providers are registered and vetted through the Give an Hour network provider portal to ensure current licensing. Interested providers must be licensed in the state of Texas or PSYPACT. If you are a provider who would like to participate, please follow this link.