San Diego (KGTV)- The mass shootings in Orange County and Buffalo, NY are hitting home for many people. A local is sharing how people can process their feelings and emotions after seeing these tragic crimes.
On Sunday a man opens fire inside a Laguna Woods church, killing one person and injuring five others. A majority of those inside were of Taiwanese descent. The Orange County Sheriff says this was a politically motivated hate incident.
About 24 hours prior, 10 people were killed while grocery shopping in Buffalo, NY. All of the victims were black.
“These are hate crimes,” says Reena B. Patel. “What happened in buffalo was definitely a hate crime. It naturally makes every one of color on high alert.”
Local Psychologist and Author Reena B. Patel says many, especially people of color, can experience an array of emotions following crimes like these.
“You may not be directly involved with what has taken place but it’s natural to feel this secondary trauma,” says Patel. “The feeling of loss, the feeling that you yourself could have been there.”
Patel says it’s important to honor those feelings.
“I think that's the first step. It’s ok to feel whatever it is you’re feeling and to understate that grief is a process. It’s going to take time.”
Patel is of Indian and South Asian descent. Her parents were immigrants to the U.S. She says she has also been impacted.
“Yes I’m a professional psychologist but I too have the same emotions of sadness and fear and anxiety of what has been taking place.”
She says it’s important to embrace one another and different cultures. The best thing to do is advocate, educate and do outreach.
“There’s so much research that supports when you feel helpless and hopeless, do acts of kindness in your community,” says Patel. “Go around people to work in groups, you don’t have to be alone because so many people are feeling the same way.”
Patel also adds if you see something, say something.
“If you see something that that your gut tells you it doesn’t feel right make sure you contact the local authorities because you can be that one person that can save something like this from happening.”