County health workers encourage anyone experiencing a mental health crisis or traumatic stress to call the Clackamas County Crisis Line at 503-655-8585.
Experts say traumatic stress is a normal response to an abnormal situation affected by the body’s effort to make meaning out of a senseless act.
Mild symptoms of traumatic stress can be helped by maintaining healthy routines like spending time with family and friends, exercise, good nutrition and hydration. If symptoms of stress interfere with daily routines, it can be useful to seek help from a mental health clinician or family doctor.
Getting assistance or information early can often prevent symptoms from getting worse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any troubling symptoms or stress or a potential mental health crisis, again, call the hotline at 503-655-8585.
If you are not experiencing a crisis but would like to talk to a peer counselor, call the David Romprey Warm Line at 1-800-698-2392.
Clackamas County’s Centerstone Clinic also provides urgent mental health walk-in services. It is located in the Rose Center near the Clackamas Town Center at 11211 SE 82nd Ave., Suite O, Happy Valley.
The clinic is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For more information go to the clinic’s website.
Mall shooting will impact community’s mental health
The Clackamas Town Center shootings Tuesday will have a lasting impact on the mental health of the region’s residents, mental health professionals say.
Tuesday’s rampage by 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts left two dead and directly touched the 10,000 people estimated to be in the 1.37-million-square-foot Happy Valley shopping center.
In the short term, people directly exposed to the violence will experience trauma. That will spread to the community as more information is released, said Mark Lewinsohn, vice president for clinical services at LifeWorks Northwest, a Portland nonprofit providing mental health and other services throughout the region.
In the longer run, Lewinsohn said the jarring images could affect the public’s sense of safety, particularly in large, enclosed malls.
“It could have an effect on the willingness to go to large shopping malls,” he said.
But on a positive note, Lewinsohn said Tuesday’s events could have a unifying effect on the community and the agencies that work with people in crisis.
“It makes us look at our crisis response systems,” he said. “It kind of gives us all a chance to regroup and make sure that our systems are working and that we communicate.”
Christopher Krenk, president and CEO of Albertina Kerr, watched news of the shootings on CNN while representing CareOregon at a health care conference in Florida. The nonprofit Albertina Kerr supports people with mental health challenges as well as developmental disabilities.
Krenk said the Oregon delegation spoke of little else over dinner.
Krenk speculated — correctly — that the killer would prove to be a young man, following the pattern of other seemingly random shootings.
The transition into adulthood can be rocky, he said, citing Albertina Kerr’s work to help those with intellectual disabilities ease into adulthood.
“It supports the notion that we should support our mental health services,” he said. “To the extent that the community funds and supports people who are struggling, we generate better outcomes.”
Clackamas Town Center shooting: Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon responds
Rev. LeRoy Haynes, President of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
The president of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, the Rev. LeRoy Haynes, issued a statement today after Tuesday’s shooting at Clackamas Town Center. Three people, including the alleged gunman, died and one teenager has been hospitalized.
The statewide association of churches “laments” the shooting “in the midst of the season of hope and joy,” said Haynes, who is senior pastor of Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church in Northeast Portland.
Haynes addressed the question on many people minds: Why did this happen?
“Causes of these tragedies can be complex, including lack of resources to recognize and treat mental illness, easy availability of military-grade weapons, and the culture of violence permeating our society,” he said.
“At this time in our society, we must be willing to tackle these hard issues together in order to foster healing and help prevent future tragedies.”
The remainder of the statement reads:
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon calls upon all houses of worship to pray for the victims’ families and loved ones, and for the perpetrator’s family who are suffering now.
We give thanks for the police, emergency professionals, and mall staff for their courage and quick response, making clear that we will not be paralyzed by fear in the face of sudden violence.
We also acknowledge the importance of pastoral care and mental health services for all those impacted by this tragedy, and we give thanks for everyone who is part of the healing process.