‘It shatters your sense of safety, belonging:’ LGBTQ doctor encourages mental health care after Club Q shooting

The mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs is profoundly impacting the LGBTQ+ community…

The mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs is profoundly impacting the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. It is crucial that Coloradans take care of our mental health in times like this and know there is no shame in doing so. 

CBS News Colorado Anchor Mekialaya White sat down for an in-studio interview with Dr. Carl Clark, the president and CEO of WellPower, formerly known as the Mental Health Center of Denver, for a candid discussion on how best to cope going forward.

Clark has dedicated his career to improving the well-being of the Denver community through a focus on health promotion, well-being, resilience, and recovery across the lifespan. “We see all age groups from young children to the elderly. Psychotherapies when they’re having trouble seeing, thinking, or doing things. And we include positive psychology which overall contributes to our well-being. We also work with the body to help the mind and we do social determinants of health.” 

Clark says it’s easy to be reluctant in addressing what you’re feeling after events like these. “(Asking questions like) Did this really happen? How did it happen? But people will have a reaction to this. Whether you’re in the event itself or seeing it vicariously, you could be feeling anxious or irritable, not sleeping or not eating, not enjoying the usual things. It’s time to reach out for help.” 

“Any time an event like this happens, the thoughts are that it is a safe place to be,” he continued. “Whether it’s a grocery store, it shatters your sense of safety in the community and sense of belonging. It has a ripple effect on the entire community.” 

“I say if you’re a little bit worried, call out. And in support of our community, imagine this: There are people today that have gone through their entire workday, and nobody has said anything about it. If you have a friend in the LGBTQ+ community, reach out.” 

He recommends the following mental health resources: 

Colorado Crisis Services – To talk to a mental health crisis counselor 24/7, call Colorado Crisis Services, 844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255 or walk in for care. For locations and more info: https://coloradocrisisservices.org/ 

TherapyDirect – Quickly access a counselor for a full 55-minute, online session. No medical insurance needed. All metro Denver residents ages 18 years and up are welcome, including those new to counseling. TherapyDirect is available Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  Info here: https://www.wellpower.org/therapydirect/