CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston is opening the nation’s first Mass Violence and Victimization Resource Center.The center is being funded by an $18 million grant it received from the Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) to help survivors of these horrific events nationwide.“We were on the phone this morning about maybe reaching out to maybe some people in Texas as well as maybe some people who were attending the concert in Las Vegas,” said Dean Kilpatrick, Ph.D., the director of the center, which is part of M.U.S.C.’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. “We will be doing some things about talking to people on the ground, talking to victims, maybe going to some of these places ourselves.”Kilpatrick is familiar with this type of field work. He was involved in counseling and providing resources for the survivors and the families of the victims of the Mother Emanuel shootings in downtown Charleston two years ago. “We had hands-on experience of knowing what the needs were and attempting to meet those needs,” he said.The new center will work with partners across the country, including law enforcement, first responders, mayors, police, and mental health experts. Kilpatrick’s team will research, train and educate those aiding victims of mass violence, helping establish care immediately and over the long term.
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