Apparent suicides added tragedies to mass shootings

Paloma Place provides support after Sutherland Springs shooting

By Jessie Degollado - Reporter, Luis Cienfuegos - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - Following last week’s three apparent suicides that are believed to have been associated with two of the nation’s worst mass shootings, Paloma Place, which was founded in response to the 2017 shootings in Sutherland Springs, has provided needed support in the wake of its own tragedy.

“The death of a loved one, in particular in a traumatic event that affects the entire community, is really a difficult life-changing event, but it doesn’t have to be life-ending," said Tami Logsdon, director of programs for the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas.

The Child Bereavement Center, in partnership with the University of Texas at San Antonio, created Paloma Place in Floresville, which is next to Sutherland Springs, to offer free mental health services to help with survivor’s guilt, depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress and other possible emotional trauma.

Logsdon said more than 200 people have sought help at Paloma Place in less than a year. She said, in addition, there is “an amazing collaboration of many other organizations in the area.”

“We really do believe that connection and asking for support is one way for the community and individuals to get through it,” Logsdon said.

She said the Children’s Bereavement Center wouldn’t be doing what it has for this long if staff members didn’t think hope, resilience and a new purpose in life are possible.

Even though survivors and families carry the pain, Logsdon said, they can still have full, meaningful lives and use the memories of their loved ones as a reminder of how to live their lives.

“Getting help is never a weakness,” Logsdon said. “It’s a step towards getting the help that you need.”

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255.

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