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‘You don’t have to do it alone’: Project Harmony hosts healing session for Target survivors

By Abbie Petersen

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    OMAHA, Nebraska (KETV) — Hundreds of people were in the Target store when a mentally ill man opened fire.

Tuesday, we’re seeing the effort to help them heal.

It was one week ago, when the gunman fired a rifle at least eight times in the southwest Omaha Target.

No one was hurt but at one point the shooter pointed that rifle at an employee. Police killed the gunman about six minutes after getting the call.

Tuesday night there was a healing session at Project Harmony. We were asked not to show anyone in the audience.

Project Harmony told people in attendance that they want them to realize these are not normal events and they should not have to experience what they have but there is help available.

There were around 250 people inside Target when Joey Jones came in and fired an AR-15 shattering their sense of security.

“That is typically a safe place for us to be when we really things. It would be an unsafe place for you,” said OPD mental health coordinator, Lindsay Kroll.

Project Harmony says moving past this will be difficult for many.

“After a traumatic event. It could be an accident. It could be a sudden loss of a loved one. You know, any time we’re just not expecting it. We have a lot of emotions that we have to process,” said Project Harmony Deputy Director Michele Bang.

Tuesday night’s healing session featured speakers from Omaha police, Region 6, and CHI Health to name a few. Along with treats and dogs for comfort.

“We’re hoping that after, you know, since a week passed, people are now ready to start thinking about, OK, what is normal and what is maybe I need to start getting concerned,” Bang said.

With presentations acknowledging what people may be feeling:

Anxiety, denial, anger, remorse, grief, reconciliation. All of the organizations say these feelings are valid.

“But if those symptoms continue and they start to impact your day-to-day life, then it might be time to seek out help,” Bang said.

And people process things on their own time.

“People may have some services they need right away. People may later on down the road notice a change in their loved ones. It could be their children. It could be their spouse, partner or friend,” said Region 6 Behavioral Health Miles Glasgow.

But when you’re ready they’re here to help.

“You don’t have to do it alone. I mean, a lot of people will suffer through trauma and not talk about it and it just makes it. It’s not that you can’t do it. It just might make it a little more difficult,” Bang said.

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