City of Raleigh, nonprofits work to provide mental health resources after last week’s mass shooting in Raleigh

Families in our community are feeling the brunt of the past week since the mass shooting in the Hedingham neighborhood and along a Raleigh greenway.

Dozens of people called WRAL’s Mental Health Hotline Tuesday night seeking help from the shooting, and another helpline says calls are ongoing in Wake County.

Memorials have multiplied at the entrances to the Hedingham district. It has become a way for the community to show their pain and offer messages of encouragement.

The city and several nonprofits are also sharing resources to help the community heal.

On Wednesday, Hedingham resident Leslie Covington placed flowers next to photos of the victims at a growing memorial at the entrance to her neighborhood.

“There’s this saying, ‘Let’s give people roses while they live,'” Convington said. “Unfortunately, we are unable to do so.”

The five people who lost their lives are the faces of neighbors she did not know personally. However, the pain Covington feels as a resident of the community weighs heavily on her, even as a former mental health therapist.

“It rocked my world,” Covington said. “When it’s so close to home and it could have been you or someone you loved, then it just takes you on that road of ‘what if? “”

Covington isn’t alone in feeling that way, said Nina Leger, program director for the North Carolina chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

“It seems like no place is a safe space for us,” Léger said.

Leger said it’s never too early to ask for help.

“You don’t have to be needy,” Leger said. “You don’t have to be in crisis to need, want and receive support.”

NAMI offers free virtual support groups, including for stress and anxiety.

Mental health advocates have said attacks like these can cause people to isolate themselves from the community around them.

Covington finds its strength in this community.

“Never lose sight that even in all the ugliness, there is something beautiful here,” Covington said. “People still care and people still neighbors, and Hedingham is still strong.”

The City of Raleigh is working on a website to connect people who need help with groups offering help. The new website should be launched soon.

On Tuesday, Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin said the city has set up a new email address [email protected] for anyone seeking support or wanting to provide support.

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