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After Mass Shooting, Officials Urge People To Seek Mental Health Services

Jerry Kenney
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley with City Commissioner Chris Shaw

Dayton officials and some Miami Valley health organizations are encouraging anyone struggling with depression or trauma after last Sunday’s mass shooting to seek help. 

They urge anyone struggling with difficult feelings to take care of their own health needs, saying this would also aid in the larger community's healing process.

Just two days after the Oregon District shooting, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and City Commissioner Chris Shaw stepped in front of cameras to address mental health as a part of the city’s recovery from its most recent tragedy.

The mayor was forthcoming about her own personal use of professional counseling to deal with potentially overwhelming circumstances in the past.

“It makes a great difference in my life, and that's what helps me stay strong,” she says. “And so we really want to talk to everybody about that, how it's really important that we're talking to our friends, our moms, our dads, maybe our significant others. But even going to see somebody that you can just get help from."

Commissioner Shaw, who Wednesday found himself acting as an arbitor-of-sorts between two groups of clashing protesters during President Donald Trump's visit to Dayton, says the shooting is creating additional stress for many people who also directly experienced other recent traumatic events in Dayton, including the Memorial Day tornado disaster, and the Courthouse Square KKK rally.

“This has devastated me personally," he says, "but being 'Dayton Strong,' and being strong means that you're willing to reach out and ask for help."

Marnie Masten is program director of Samaritan Behavioral Health Crisis Care in Dayton. Calls to the group's crisis hotline have increased significantly since the shooting, she says. But Masten says some people may also be feeling the need to withdraw from the outside world. She wants people in this situation to fight that urge. And she has other tips, too:

“Other things are maintaining the lifestyle so no drastic changes, trying to get to bed at the normal times, maintaining good physical health and a healthy diet," says Masten. "Sometimes people might want to consume a little bit too much alcohol and that's not going to be very healing."

Below, you'll find the Samaritan Crisis hotline number, as well as resources provided by other local organizations:

Oregon District Shooting: Support & mental health resources

Family Assistance Center (HelpLink) (937) 225-3000

Samaritan Crisis Care: (973) 224-4646 provides local 24/7 crisis hotline services and walk in crisis services at 1 Elizabeth Place, Dayton, OH.

Crisis Text Line: Text 4HOPE to 741741 to be connected to a trained crisis counselor within five minutes

Suicide Hotline: (800) 273-8255.

Crime Victim Services
Montgomery Co. Prosecutor’s Victim Assistance: (937) 225-5623

Ohio Attorney General Crime Victim Compensation program: https://www.ocvjc.org/comp

National Disaster Distress Helpline

Provides 365-day-a-year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
1-800-985-5990 or Text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
TTY: 1-800-846-8517
Call 1-800-985-5990 and press "2" or Text "Hablamos" to 66746

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network: https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/terrorism-and-violence/mass-violence

CareSource Customers

Medicaid: 1-866-206-0554 (TTY: 1-800-750-0750 or 711)
Medicare: 1-866-206-0569 (TTY: 1-800-750-0750 or 711)
MyCare: 1-866-206-7861 (TTY: 1-800-750-0750 or 711)

Educational Sessions for Businesses

If your business would like to schedule an educational session for your employees, please contact Jodi Long at Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction, & Mental Health Resources at (937) 443-0416 or by email jlong@mcadamhs.org.

Jerry began volunteering at WYSO in 1991 and hosting Sunday night's Alpha Rhythms in 1992. He joined the YSO staff in 2007 as Morning Edition Host, then All Things Considered. He's hosted Sunday morning's WYSO Weekend since 2008 and produced several radio dramas and specials . In 2009 Jerry received the Best Feature award from Public Radio News Directors Inc., and was named the 2023 winner of the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors Best Anchor/News Host award. His current, heart-felt projects include the occasional series Bulletin Board Diaries, which focuses on local, old-school advertisers and small business owners. He has also returned as the co-host Alpha Rhythms.