Wednesday marks two years since 10 people were murdered by a gunman at the Table Mesa King Soopers in south Boulder.
Mental Health Partners is extending support as the community commemorates another year passing, as this period may be particularly painful for those who continue to experience grief and anxiety from this event.
“There is no timeline for healing,” said Julie Ratinoff, manager of the Boulder Strong Resource Center. “What we have learned from survivors of Columbine, Aurora, Las Vegas and other mass tragedy events is that healing is a long and winding road.”
Mental Health Partners first opened the Boulder Strong Resource Center in partnership with King Soopers in June 2021 and continues to serve as a dedicated resource and referral center. The center at 2935 Baseline Road in Boulder is meant to be a place of healing and support for residents, visitors and first responders affected by the Table Mesa shooting with access to no-cost care and services.
“Each person’s healing journey and timeline is different,” Ratinoff said. “Our approach is that therapy should never be forced. In fact, therapy may not be for everyone, and that is okay. Our goal is to help people work through traumatic experiences and allow them to move forward in their life when they are ready.”
Around trauma “anniversaries,” survivors often experience enhanced anxiety, anger, grief, sadness, nightmares, flashbacks, depression or fear. While not all survivors of such an event may experience this, those who do may not expect it or understand why they feel this way.
Ratinoff noted that the resource center has recently seen some survivors and community members impacted by news coverage of the ongoing court case surrounding the individual responsible for the 10 deaths or from seeing similar tragedies in other places.
“With so many factors such as the delayed court case and the constant bombardment of continued mass tragedies creating re-traumatization, people in our community are still hurting,” she said.
Throughout the week of March 20-24, the Boulder Strong Resource Center will be offering additional support for anyone who may need it. Self-care and grounding activities to support calming and nurturing the nervous system will include a collaborative origami art project, AcuDetox, trauma-informed massage, expert-led mediation, comfort dogs, art therapy and more.
Counselors will also be on hand for mental health check ins and support.
The city of Boulder will be hosting an in-person and virtual event to remember those who were killed and coming together as a community. More information is available at bouldercolorado.gov/boulderstrong.
Anyone who is struggling can visit the Boulder Strong Resource Center to see if any of the free healing and support services offered meet their needs. The center is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays and from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on the first and third Saturdays of the month.
No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are welcome. To learn more about available services and upcoming events, go to weareboulderstrong.org.