School shootings: Too many questions to count
Once again, my community of Portland, Oregon has experienced a shooting incident. Of course, this is one of many that has occurred around the United States in the last few weeks. My phone started ringing with media calls this afternoon. Some asked if I could help staff emergency counseling centers (I'll try - please email me details about those counseling services and I will reply telling you when I'm available.). Others wanted comments on what parents should tell their children, how to prevent these tragedies, what might be "wrong" with mass shooters, etc. I wish I had answers to all of these questions. All I have is a collection of random thoughts, many of them not resulting from my counseling education and experience.
You are not alone, especially in Portland.
Let's say that you just moved to Portland, you don't have any family, and you don't have a job yet. You can still find someone to talk to here, to help support you until you get other social connections. Professional counselors are at agencies, in private practices, and even at county mental health crisis lines. You may not find someone who is an exact fit for your needs in your first call but if you keep calling, you WILL find someone who can help. Call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). The Multnomah County Crisis line is great at 503-988-4888 and the Clackamas County Crisis Line is also wonderful at 503-655-8585. I have not worked in Washington County yet but I assume they're also fabulous at 503-291-9111. Google counselors in your area or go through the Psychology Today Therapist directory.
You are not too poor for counseling.
Even if counselors don't say they take sliding scale clients, most of us do. You don't know if you don't ask! If you explain your situation, many of us will do everything we can to meet you where you're at financially. If we are not able to, then ask us for recommendations of colleagues or other organizations that might help.