A group of students and teachers at Texas State University’s medical school are struggling to cope with the emotional and physical trauma that came with the shooting that killed three fellow students and an employee on Monday.
In the wake of the deadly shooting at the medical school, some of the students, including four who were studying at the time, said they have experienced intense trauma, including being called “bitch” and “bastard” for not having a gun.
“I am terrified of everything,” said senior David McAfee, who has been working as a student medical doctor since 2009.
“I am scared of my own students, and I have a feeling I’m going to be in that type of situation.”
Mental health experts are concerned that mental health issues that may arise as a result of the shooting may have been exacerbated by the mental health crises that preceded it.
“It’s really a tragedy in and of itself,” said Dr. Paul C. Johnson, director of the Dallas-based American Psychological Association.
“This is a really bad event for people who are already feeling like this.”
But for the majority of the school’s students, the stress is a reaction to the school shooting.
“When I see a group of people and I see them getting down, that’s when I get emotional,” said freshman Lauren Hickey, a medical student.
“It’s something that I was really nervous about because it was my first time here, and it felt like I was going to feel really bad.”
According to a statement from the school, the students had to be removed from classes for three days because of the ongoing trauma.
The school also said that students and staff had to work through a three-day program that included a mental health evaluation, a classroom tour, and counseling.
The trauma has forced the students to take on more responsibility, with the majority now working more closely with each other.
“They have a new perspective, and they have a bigger responsibility to the students and to the community,” said student Stephanie Pazdur, who works with a mental illness advocacy group called Safe Schools.
“The trauma was so extreme that it affected them a lot.
I mean, they were scared of us.”
As students and their families gather outside the school for the annual shooting prevention program, the school is offering a $10,000 scholarship for the victims’ families.
Texas State University President Gregory Johnson said in a statement that the school has been made aware of the need for additional resources for the families of the deceased students, students and employees.
“Texas State is committed to making this possible and providing the resources necessary to support the students in their recovery and to support their families and friends during this difficult time,” Johnson said.