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Help Available If Theater Shooting Trial Triggers Traumatic Stress

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Dr. Mara Kailin talks with CBS4's Kathy Walsh (credit: CBS)

Dr. Mara Kailin talks with CBS4’s Kathy Walsh (credit: CBS)

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AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Painful testimony in the James Holmes trial may trigger stressful side effects, so CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh talked with the experts about recognizing traumatic stress and where to find help.

Many people may think they are past the horror of July 20, but a number of things, including emotional testimony in the trial, can rewind those memories. Counselors with Aurora Mental Health Center want people to know they are on the phone 24/7.

On Monday witnesses recounted graphic details of the massacre.

“It doesn’t even matter if you were there, you’re still just going to feel the pain and the fear that people felt that day,” clinical psychologist Dr. Mara Kailin with the Aurora Mental Health Center said.

If horrible stories of that day get in the way of life, Kailin says take care personally and communicate.

“You need to have people that you can talk to about these things that are just going to listen in a non-critical way and just be supportive of whatever feelings you have,” Kailin said.

In the six weeks following the theater shooting calls to the Aurora Mental Health Center grew 245 percent. The case load rose by 67 percent. Counselors are always ready to help.

Also, a website, launched in mid-December by the 7/20 Recovery Committee, offers ways people can help themselves.

“We hope that anyone who is feeling disturbed by information that they’re hearing, or having trouble conducting their day-to-day affairs, can find this site as a starting point,” Karen Morales with the 7/20 Recovery Committee said.

People struggling with the tragedy are encouraged to reach out and find help wherever they can. Look for signs like trouble sleeping, nightmares, change in appetite or anxiety. If they seem out of the norm, seek help by calling the Aurora Mental Health Center at (303) 617-2300  24 hours a day  7 days a week, or visiting  www.aurorastrong.bluesunsupport.com.

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