LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Gun violence has increased in cities across the nation - including Louisville.
Five days have passed since the tragic bus stop shooting of 16-year-old Tyree Smith and it has left the community with more questions than answers.
Area doctors are sharing the impact many of these senseless shootings have - beyond those who have been killed.
“It should outrage all of us,” Dr. Stephen Taylor, chief medical officer at UofL Health, said. “A neighbor who loses a child or friend or cousin – that’s a horrible tragedy. The only way we’re going to be able to process that is with our community, together.”
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Some long-term effects of violence include difficulty with depression and anxiety, problems graduating school or having a successful career and troubled relationships.
For children, it can lead to performance issues in class and attention problems.
The question at hand is, where do we go from here?
Mental health experts say finding someone you trust to talk about what’s happening in the community is the first step.
"People who suffer from violence can be very isolated and can feel very isolated in their experience. And one of the things that intensifies that isolation is not having someone they can talk to," Dr. Taylor said.
Pastor and current Louisville mayoral candidate Timothy Findley said community churches can do a better job. His church, Kingdom Fellowship Christian Life Center, wanted to have mental health therapists following the tragic shooting of Smith, injuring two others.
Findley recently held an impromptu session for children and said they will continue to have conversations in hopes of creating change.
"If we're going to have real change, we're gonna have to stop accepting the violence, we're going to have to stop accepting many of the things we're seeing every week from local government to our neighborhoods and we're gonna have to realize that as a city, just because I live in a zip code where some of these social ills aren't affecting me, it is still my issue."
Kingdom Fellowship said their next open conversation is scheduled for mid-October.
If you are in need of support, here are a few resources:
- National Association for Mental Illness
- Peace Psychiatric Hospital has an access center and a phone line open 24/7
- Local mental health groups
Contact reporter Gabrielle Harmon at GHarmon@whas11.com or on Facebook or Twitter.
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