VA providing on-site assistance, counseling following Las Vegas shooting

Just hours after the deadly Las Vegas shooting, VA deployed teams of mental health professionals, counselors, social workers and other crisis and trauma-trained experts into the community to help those in need. While VA’s Vet Centers and its mobile teams usually serve combat Veterans and family members, Mobile Vet Centers also deploy to provide community support in emergency situations.

“There is a tremendous amount of shock that everyone is experiencing,” said Dr. Ramu Komanduri, chief of staff for the VA Southern Nevada Healthcare System and a board-certified psychiatrist. “Our goal is to be supportive, offer a presence, try to help people while they search for answers, and, as time passes in the days ahead, help them with longer term symptoms and problems associated with such a horrific trauma.”

VA’s Southern Nevada Healthcare System and Las Vegas and Henderson Vet Centers deployed a team to a family reunification center at the Las Vegas Convention Center to assist those who may be searching for friends or family. And VA’s presence in Las Vegas quickly grew by the afternoon of Oct. 2 as three Mobile Vet Centers from Southern California arrived to help maintain around-the-clock services. Local VA staff and Vet Centers provided on-site counseling services at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center as well as University Medical Center – the two most-impacted medical facilities.

“The Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center team are grateful and appreciative for the assistance we received from the Vet Centers and the VA medical center mental health staff,” said Jeffrey Murawsky, chief