Officials focus on providing mental health resources to first responders, neighbors after West Cook Road tragedy

Published: Nov. 30, 2021 at 5:40 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - As police investigate Monday night’s shooting on West Cook Road that left four people dead, another focus is helping the family members and first responders with trauma from this case.

Cami Hambrock is a mental health professional at the Bowen Center and says family and close friends need all the help they can get during this difficult time.

“Grief is definitely not a ‘one size fits all,’” Hambrock said. “Everyone grieves differently. Some people may take months to grieve. Some people might be done again in a week and not be able to talk about it.”

Hambrock says this is a time for the people to watch out for signs of trauma that could easily be missed.

“Talk to someone about it,” Hambrock said. “Reach out ask for help, you’re not alone. There are other people with similar experiences.”

She also recommends that first responders take time to heal. Which is why officials with the Allen County Sheriff’s Department say they’re providing resources to those on scene.

“We rely on each other initially,” Cpl. Ingrid Harriot said. “Nobody understand a scene like what happened last night better than someone who’s been at a scene like this before.”

Harriot also says it’s often difficult for the men and women in uniform to realize the magnitude of what they went through.

“You won’t see many police officers say ‘I’m really struggling, can we go get a cup of coffee and talk about it?’” Harriot said. “Sometimes we have to foster that conversation for them.”

Both Hambrock and Harriot say it’s crucial for the community to focus on healing.

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