Trauma helplines expanded following Waukesha parade crash

November 25, 2021 GMT

MILWAUKEE (AP) — As people in Waukesha and elsewhere continue to cope with trauma following six deaths and more than 60 injuries after a man drove an SUV through a holiday parade, mental health experts are offering new ways to get help.

Children’s Wisconsin hospital in Milwaukee on Monday launched a new mental and behavioral health helpline for people and families seeking support. The hospital said the hotline had received dozens of calls as of Tuesday afternoon.

Local organizations have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for victims and mental health professionals have been sharing new and existing resources to help people process grief, Wisconsin Public Radio reported.

Haley Miller is a licensed social worker and behavioral health consultant at Children’s Wisconsin who has been working the crisis line. She said they’ve gotten calls about how to talk to children about what happened. Adults are wondering about their own feelings, she said.

“We’ve had a lot of people calling in asking if their emotions are normal that they’re experiencing, whether that’s completely shutting down and not wanting to get out of bed or feeling really numb about it,” said Miller. “And we also have been working on supporting people in getting resources that they might need.”

The suspect in the killings, Darrell Brooks Jr., 39, is charged with five counts of first-degree intentional homicide and is expected to face a sixth count after an 8-year-old boy died Tuesday. Representatives for area hospitals confirmed Wednesday that at least 16 people still are being treated for injuries.