Deerfield group working to get counseling and support for people traumatized by Highland Park shooting

Woman at memorial after Highland Park Shooting
A woman visits a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting at a Fourth of July parade, on July 6, 2022 in Highland Park, Illinois. Photo credit Jim Vondruska/Getty Images

(WBBM NEWSRADIO) — A Deerfield not-for-profit organization is helping to get counseling and support for people traumatized by the Highland Park shooting.

The Lauri S. Bauer Foundation for Sudden Loss is organizing a Zoom meeting Sunday or Monday night with their licensed clinical social workers to help guide parents whose children are dealing with loss or anxiety from the shooting.

Founder Scott Bauer said they opted for an online meeting to accommodate as many people as possible, as well as in consideration of those who may be concerned about large, in-person events.

“Because we don’t know if it’s going to be 20 people or 1,000 people, which is why we hesitated doing something in-person for the first time,” Bauer said.

The Zoom meeting isn’t all that the foundation has been doing, though.

Bauer said their therapists have started to do sessions with children who were at the parade.

“They don’t want to run anymore, we’re getting this feedback from the parents … They don’t want to run because they were running away and seeing people trampled, and they’re scared to run,” Bauer said. “They don’t want to be around a lot of people. They don’t want to see balloons.”

The Lauri S. Bauer Foundation will cover the cost of the sessions not covered by insurance.

“One of the best things that we offer, besides that our clinicians and therapists are specifically trained to deal with sudden loss and grief, is that we don't charge,” Bauer said.

Highland Park business owners have reached out because they’re unsure of how to support their employees in the wake of the deadly shooting, Bauer said.

He said they’re trying to gauge what the need will be from people once the shock wears off.

“It’s really, kind of, down the road — one week, two weeks, four weeks, maybe even longer than that — where a lot of that trauma and a lot of that PTSD really sets in,” Bauer said.

Bauer created the foundation after his wife died suddenly in 2011 and he says he couldn’t find resources for his children.

It has grown to employ six full-time therapists plus two or three part-time workers at offices in Deerfield and Evanston.

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