The American Counseling Association wishes to convey our deepest sympathy to those who have been harmed by the Las Vegas shooting that occurred Oct. 1, the family members and friends who have lost a loved one, and the entire community affected by this tragedy. We are holding each and every one of you in our thoughts.
“Our deepest condolences are with the families of those who were killed, and we send our well wishes for those who were injured,” ACA President Gerard Lawson said. “Counselors recognize the toll that violence takes, some of which can be seen and some of which is not observable to the outside world. Even those who witnessed these events from a distance through the media can feel affected by the trauma. Counselors are ready, willing, and able to assist those who may need support following this senseless violence, and are committed to continuing our work in schools and communities to prevent violence in the future.”
“Once again, ACA members are called upon to help children and adults cope with the emotional aspects of disasters,” ACA Chief Professional Officer David Kaplan said. “The shootings in Las Vegas show how crucial it is to have professional counselors on the forefront in assisting people with both direct and vicarious trauma. Healing will take time and we will be thinking of everyone affected in Las Vegas.”
Events like this can cause a ripple effect throughout the nation and will require long-term attention and support. One consequence that professional counselors across the country should watch for is vicarious trauma. Individuals may feel traumatized by the incident, even if they were not there when it occurred. Everyone processes trauma differently—and professional counselors must remain watchful to attend to the unique needs of each individual client.
We encourage professional counselors to lend support for those suffering from this devastating loss in any way they can. For resources related to trauma counseling, see the ACA fact sheet titled 1:1 Crisis Counseling (Fact Sheet 10).
Additional ACA fact sheets and resources that may be helpful include: