Community gathers in St. Johns to stand with MSU at healing event

Published: Mar. 5, 2023 at 7:57 PM EST
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ST. JOHNS, Mich. (WILX) - People gathered to help heal in St. Johns for a community healing event which gave visitors a platform to share and reflect after the shooting on Michigan State’s campus.

Many listened to the sound of music Sunday, as community members gathered to stand with MSU. The event was open to the public and encouraged mental health awareness. The turnout at Clinton County regional educational service was what they had expected and every seat in the group circle sat full.

Andrea Ryan, a therapist, said she hopes to change the stigma of not asking for mental health help as you would if you had a broken leg and needed a cast.

“The benefits of people having a therapist, going to therapy and processing the trauma,” said Ryan. “I think the more we talk about it and have events like this the more people who might get involved, and see their own therapist. I know there is lots of stigma around at still so the more we normalize these things, the better.”

Comfort animals were on duty offering help to those who need it like Tim Hulliberger.

“We gathered here so that we can release it, share it, and also have feedback from other people,” said Hulliberger.

Andrea Ryan said that left untreated trauma can live inside our body and cells, as well as change our DNA.

“If we can address the body and the whole person and also the mind, those things can help process the trauma that is stuck in some places. We will see some people who have continued ruminating thoughts about a specific event. People not getting enough sleep because of nightmares. These types of therapies can help process and move that trauma through their bodies so that they can continue to live the life that they were living.”

Tim Hulliberger attended because he needed an outlet after living through so many shootings like Michigan State and Sandy Hook. He is hopeful for changes to come.

St. Johns Chief of Police, David Kirk, attended the event and offered to visit with businesses who want to talk about police response time and preparedness.

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