STAT, October 4, 2017
Rebecca Robbins


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LAS VEGAS — The volunteer psychologists and counselors have been pouring into this grieving city, so fast that a state official says the supply far exceeds the demand for crisis counseling.

But a worrisome question looms: What happens when the volunteers go home?

Nevada’s mental health system was already overstretched before the carnage on Sunday night at a country music festival here. Now, thousands of victims, survivors, and their loved ones — as well as first responders and local workers who witnessed the horror — are expected to need mental health services in the coming weeks and months.

“It’s certainly going to take us above and beyond what we were already capable of managing before, which was: We were barely making it,” said Michelle Paul, a clinical psychologist who directs a mental health care clinic at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

“I hope we have the resources to support the needs of our community,” Paul said. “I can’t say that we will. I just don’t know.” [...]

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