Boulder Strong Resource Center Offers Support for the 2-Year Commemoration of the Table Mesa King Soopers Tragedy
For many in Boulder, healing has only just begun
LAFAYETTE, Colo., March 15, 2023 – Nearly two years ago, on March 22nd, 10 people were killed and an entire community was shaken when a gunman walked into the Table Mesa King Soopers in South Boulder. As we commemorate another passing year since that tragic day, Mental Health Partners (MHP) understands that this period may be particularly painful for many in our community who continue to experience grief and anxiety from this horrific event. The Boulder Strong Resource Center continues to help support these individuals and families in their healing journey.
“There is no timeline for healing,” said Julie Ratinoff, Manager of the Boulder Strong Resource Center. “What we have learned from survivors of Columbine, Aurora, Las Vegas, and other mass tragedy events is that healing is a long and winding road.”
Located at 2935 Baseline Road in Boulder, MHP’s Boulder Strong Resource Center is a safe place of healing and support for residents, visitors, and first responders affected by the Boulder Table Mesa tragedy to access no-cost care and services. Mental Health Partners first opened the Boulder Strong Resource Center in partnership with King Soopers in June 2021, and today it continues to serve as a dedicated resource and referral center for many community members.
“Each person’s healing journey and timeline is different,” said Ratinoff. “Our approach is that therapy should never be forced. In fact, therapy may not be for everyone, and that is okay. Our goal is to help people work through traumatic experiences and allow them to move forward in their life when they are ready.”
Around trauma “anniversaries,” survivors often experience enhanced anxiety, anger, grief, sadness, nightmares, flashbacks, depression, or fear. Not all survivors of a disaster or traumatic event experience this, but those who do may not expect it or understand why they are feeling this way.
Other individuals may be re-traumatized when they revisit the place where the trauma occurred.
“We had one survivor who hasn’t been able to go back to store up until recently. After their first visit back, they came straight to the Resource Center for support,” said Ratinoff.
In addition, the Resource Center has seen some survivors and community members impacted by news coverage of the ongoing court case surrounding the individual responsible for the 10 deaths, or from seeing similar tragedies occur in other communities.
“With so many factors such as the delayed court case and the constant bombardment of continued mass tragedies creating re-traumatization, people in our community are still hurting,” said Ratinoff.
Throughout the week of March 20-24, the Boulder Strong Resource Center is offering additional support for anyone who may need it – including self-care and grounding activities to support calming and nurturing the nervous system, such as a collaborative origami art project, AcuDetox, trauma-informed massage, expert-led meditation, comfort dogs, art therapy, and more. Counselors will be on-hand for mental health check-ins and support.
In addition, the City of Boulder will be hosting an in-person and virtual event to remember those who are no longer with us, offer support to one another, and come together as a community. For more information, visit https://bouldercolorado.gov/boulderstrong.
Anyone who is struggling can visit the Boulder Strong Resource Center to see if any of the no-cost healing and support services offered meet their needs. The Center is open Monday thru Friday from 10am to 6pm, as well as the first and third Saturdays of the month from 11am to 4pm. No appointment is necessary. Walk-ins are encouraged and welcomed.