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Colorado shooting could trigger new feelings of grief for Pulse survivors

The temporary memorial at the Pulse nightclub site. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE
The temporary memorial at the Pulse nightclub site. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE

After a shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado, one local leader is urging Central Floridians to check on one another this Thanksgiving week. 

Democratic State Representative Anna Eskamani says for many survivors of the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting, and for the families and friends of victims, holidays are always hard, but this one could be especially so. 

A shooting at a gay nightclub in Colorado Springs over the weekend left 5 dead and more than 25 wounded and it could trigger memories of the Pulse shooting, along with fresh feelings of grief. 

“Going into Thanksgiving, we're going to have families across our community and across the country, especially in Colorado Springs, where there will be missing, missing people and empty chairs. And so I really do encourage, for those who are impacted or managing grief right now, to seek help. We have mental health resources available. And we want to make sure that every person knows they’re not alone. And it’s ok, not to be ok.”

Eskamani says a good place to start in Central Florida is the Mental Health Association of Central Florida and NAMI of Greater Orlando.

“So I really do encourage folks that if you are in Central Florida, a good go-to-resource to identify other providers is the Mental Health Association of Central Florida. But you also have NAMI of Greater Orlando, you have Peer Support Space. And Peer Support Space is a really fantastic organization because they also provide care in non-clinical settings.”

Eskamani blames the killings on a nationwide wave of homophobic and transphobic rhetoric.

Call or text 988 if you or a friend is experiencing suicidal thoughts after the shooting. Call 911 if you are experiencing a mental health emergency. 

Danielle Prieur is a general assignment reporter at WMFE. You can hear her reporting on a daily basis on the station. She also fills-in as a host during the morning and afternoon drive times. Her reporting has been featured on NPR, Marketplace, Here & Now, and Vox. Danielle is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan and is a graduate of both the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. In her free time, she enjoys playing her guitar, writing fiction, and cooking.