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Monday, 09 October 2017 17:21

Therapy dogs comfort Las Vegas victims as massacre remains mystery

Written by  Reuters

(Reuters) - Therapy dogs and mental health volunteers are among the resources available in Las Vegas to comfort those affected by last week’s mass shooting, as concertgoers on Monday continued to pick up belongings left behind while fleeing a hail of bullets rained down from a high-rise hotel suite.

Investigators remain largely baffled by what could have motivated Stephen Paddock, a well-off retiree with no criminal record, to spray an outdoor concert crowd with gunfire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort before taking his own life.

Mental health experts said at a news conference on Monday that people exposed to trauma can expect fatigue, irritability, confusion and sadness. Tom Hlenski, a volunteer for the American Red Cross, said a return to routine, as well as rest, can help lessen anxiety.

“Chicken soup still works,” he said, saying family meals could help overcome the impact. “It’s OK to laugh in the home. It’s OK to tell jokes. It’s OK to get back into a normal rhythm. And yes it’s OK to be upset and to cry and to have sleepless nights and to have bad dreams. That’s part of responding to stress.”

Hlenski said he was one of about 30 volunteers stationed at the family assistance center created following the attack.

Read more at Reuters

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