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November 25, 2008

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

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It’s Normal to Experience Strong Feelings Related to One-Year Anniversary of Von Maur Shootings

Lincoln – As the anniversary of the shootings at the Von Maur department store in Omaha approaches, some people may have more thoughts, feelings, and memories about the event, according to Scot Adams, Ph.D., director of the Division of Behavioral Health in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).  

“It’s common to feel grief and sadness again, and the reminders can create fear, anxiety and even anger or guilt,” Adams said.   “On a more positive note, anniversaries can also give people and communities an opportunity for additional healing.   It is a time to pause and appreciate family, friends, and others.”  

More information about how to cope with traumatic events can be found by going to

“There are things you can do to help yourself and others as this anniversary approaches,” said Blaine Shaffer, M.D., Chief Clinical Officer for the Division of Behavioral Health.   “Participate in community remembrances or commemorations and talk to someone you trust about what you’re feeling.   Remember that m ost people will be okay with support from family and friends.”

Shaffer urged anyone experiencing a severe emotional reaction to the anniversary to reach out for help.   To find mental health providers in the Omaha area during this difficult time, contact Region 6 Behavioral Healthcare at (402) 444-6573, or call United Way’s 2-1-1 for information about other resources.