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Southern Arizona Red Cross volunteers assisting in Las Vegas after shooting

Posted at 9:38 PM, Oct 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-06 00:46:18-04

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) Five volunteers from the Southern Arizona Chapter of the American Red Cross are in Las Vegas assisting families impacted by the deadly shooting. 

The Red Cross says the volunteers were deployed this week to provide mental health and spiritual care to victims and survivors.

John Patton is the regional operating officer for the Red Cross and says the volunteers are specially trained to provide emotional comfort. They are stationed at the designated family assistance center.

While many lean on family and friends in the wake of a tragedy, Patton says they might not realize they need professional emotional support. The Red Cross fills that gap, Patton says. 

"People go into shock or they think you know, 'I'm OK,'" Patton said. "I think we always want to show our strong side. We want to say, 'No I'm good.' You know? But yet, there's always the memory and the moving forward and sometimes emotions can be delayed."

Patton said volunteers can also guide people to long-term mental health support if needed. 

In the last six weeks 40 volunteers from the Southern Arizona Chapter of the Red Cross have been deployed to assist with Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria.

The Red Cross reports crews have provided more than 162,000 mental health and other health services to those impacted by the hurricanes. 

Here's more information on how to get help and give back.