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Highland Park shooting is retraumatizing Waukesha Parade survivors, organization offers help

Shooting July Fourth Parade
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-05 19:51:19-04

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Several survivors of the Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy tell TMJ4 News that the mass shooting at the Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois is triggering trauma that they've been working through for nearly eight months now.

The organization Healing Hearts of Southeast Wisconsin wants everyone to know that help is available.

"Healing is a long process, it doesn’t happen in just a few months. It’s an ongoing process so this kind of set us back," said Melissa Minkley, Executive Director of Healing Hearts of Southeast Wisconsin.

The organization offers peer support groups and counseling. Healing Hearts played a big role immediately following the Waukesha Christmas Parade Tragedy in November where police say a man drove an SUV through a parade route killing six people and injuring dozens more.

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"We were available to do one-on-one support as well as convened in a variety of different groups to help them talk and process the incident," said Minkley.

Now, news of the mass shooting in Highland Park where a gunman killed seven and injured dozens more at a Fourth of July parade, is only delaying the healing of some hearts in Waukesha

"Some people are just saying that it’s too familiar, its too similar, it takes them back to that event. They are kind of thinking about things that they haven’t thought about in a while," said Minkley

Minkley says this evil incident in Highland Park won't interrupt the healing. It is, however, causing some people to work through feelings they may have thought they already fully processed.

"It’s always good to recognize that you don’t have to do this alone, that there’s other people out there that care and are empathetic and sympathetic to what you’re experiencing," she said.

The two things she wants everyone impacted to know is that help is available through groups or one-on-one therapy sessions and that families here in Waukesha and in Highland Park are not alone.

Healing Hearts is hosting a group therapy session at First United Methodist Church in Waukesha on Monday, July 11 at 6:30 p.m.

The address is 121 Wisconsin Avenue, Waukesha WI, 53186. You can contact Healing Hearts if you plan to attend. The event is open to anyone.

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