Las Vegas Massacre 3-year anniversary: new program 'Route 91 Heals' aims to help victims, bereaved families dealing with trauma

"When you do the work the healing comes": new program offers no cost, long term mental health help to victims, families of 2017 Las Vegas shooting.

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Friday, October 2, 2020
No cost support services available to victims, families of 2017 Las Vegas shooting
'So Cal Route 91 Heals' partners with 'Give an Hour' to provide mental health, emotional wellness, and recovery aid after mass trauma events as we hit the three year anniversary of the Las Vegas Massacre.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Survivors of the 2017 shooting in Las Vegas are still dealing with the tragedy that left dozens of people dead, more than 600 wounded.

"I've chosen to make the most of each and every day," said survivor Brendan Kelly.

This is the three year anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival.

"People see me and they think I'm fine. I can function," said survivor Lisa Dancel. "But inside, I hold it back, I hold it in. I have emotionally let it all out I think."

Roughly 65% of the more than 24,000 concert goers were from California, the majority from Southern California.

On this anniversary, the Ventura County District Attorney's office and Family Justice Center are partnering with the California Victim Compensation Board and Give an Hour, a national nonprofit that specializes in mental health and emotional wellness. They're stepping in to provide long-term "no cost" support services to victims and families of the shooting.

"You have to fight, you have to wake up every day and choose to be happy and choose to heal," said survivor Lacey Newman.

"When trauma happens, these things get stuck inside of you, so the trauma needs to have a place to process. Otherwise, it just keeps building and building," said Tiffani Lawyer, survivor.

The program is called SoCal Route 91 heals.

"There is a need for people to be involved in something like this," said Michael Morisette of Give an Hour.

In the shadows of their darkest days, those receiving the help say it's changed their lives.

"When you do the work the healing comes," said survivor Molly Maurer. "You got to do the work to get there though."