Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team to host community healing event after Fox River Mall shooting

Published: Feb. 15, 2021 at 4:00 PM CST
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FOX VALLEY, Wis. (WBAY) - An upcoming community healing event aims to help people who find themselves struggling after last month’s Fox River Mall shooting.

“First and foremost we want to let people out there understand that what they’re experiencing is normal,” said Emily Lewis, Executive Director of the Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response (VCR) Team.

The Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team knows an incident like the Fox River Mall shooting can create continuous trauma for people.

“All the changes in either their mood or their eating or sleeping are normal things,” said Lewis. “To talk to people that have shared an event together helps you heal because you know you’re not alone.”

That’s why Lewis says they’re hosting a Community Healing event for anyone who’s feeling affected by the shooting, whether they were there that day or not.

“The only way through an event like this is talking,” said Lewis. “You can put it off, but grief and trauma is patient, it will sneak up on you when you least expect it. So the sooner that you can talk through and really get yourself connected if you’re still struggling, the sooner the better.”

Next Monday night, Feb. 22, at Appleton Alliance Church Victim Crisis Response volunteers, along with mental health professionals from a number of area organizations, will lead small group discussions about the incident and how it’s been affecting them.

Participants may also be connected to other resources that can help long-term.

Some of the groups that have partnered with VCR to put on the event include Rogers Behavioral Health, Mosaic Family Health, Catalpa Health, Ascension, ThedaCare, N.E.W Mental Health Connection, and the Grand Chute Police Department.

“We are here to help heal the community as one giant community. Not just one organization or another, but that we jointly want to offer long-term and short-term support to those that need it,” said Lewis. “So I think it’s a pretty remarkable kudos to the community that we live in.

People designate what their connection is to the shooting as they sign up for the event so they can be grouped with people of similar experiences. Confidentiality for all involved is required.

The event is limited to 40 people due to COVID, but another event may be scheduled if there’s a lot of interest.

People can also opt to sign up for a phone call with a VCR member instead if they don’t feel comfortable with an in-person event.

“It’s not a weakness, it’s a strength if you know that you’re still struggling and reach out for that first bit of help,” said Lewis. “I know it’s scary and hard but we are here and you are not alone.”

The community meeting is on Feb. 22 from 6 – 8:30 p.m.

To sign up for the in-person event, CLICK HERE.

To sign up for the phone call option, CLICK HERE.

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Posted by Fox Cities Victim Crisis Response Team on Monday, February 15, 2021

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