Support options for those working to heal from the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

GILROY, Calif. (KGO) -- Out of respect for those working to heal, ABC7 News did not show the faces of anyone who attended community support meetings in Gilroy, Wednesday night.

Whether you were at the Garlic Festival, know someone who was, or have absolutely no connection to the incident, many admit they're feeling the impact.

RELATED: Las Vegas shooting survivor who lives 4 blocks from Garlic Festival offering help to Gilroy survivors

Most agree the massacre has shattered any sense of security.

"Whatever it is they're feeling is perfectly fine," Lisa DeSilva said. "Because everybody reacts to this differently."

DeSilva is the Chief Development Officer at Community Solutions in Gilroy.

Her office and Rebekah Children's Services opened their doors to anyone experiencing difficulty processing Sunday's deadly shooting.

During two community support meetings, the agencies provided extra support through a program led by the Center for Living with Dying, in collaboration with community agencies, the Department of Behavioral Health, and Gilroy Unified School District.

"This is not about isolationism," Christophe Rebboah, CEO of Rebekah Children's Services said. "It's about really saying hey, this is really affecting all of us. Every single one of us."

RELATED: Gilroy Shooting: Residents show support as FBI looks into motive

It was easy to see the pain in the faces of people who attended community vigils. It was easy to feel the heavy heartache, heard in the voices of those close to victims.

"We're all sharing in the experience and the trauma," Rebboah said. "So it's real for all of us."

Mental health experts admit sometimes healing requires family and friends, sometimes professionals. On-hand Wednesday, support animals were brought in to assist during the community support meetings.

The collaborative effort is all part of the expected long-term recovery.

"This is such a horrific trauma and something we've never experienced around here," DeSilva told ABC7 News. "There's no one way to respond, but it's really important to be able to step into the healing process- to not stay in isolation."

There are plenty of support options for those who couldn't make Wednesday's meetings. There are also many anonymous, over-the-phone options for others who want to heal in private.

Santa Clara County's Office of Public Affairs shared the following resources for those in need of counseling and support:

  • Individuals may call the County Behavioral Health Call Center and be directed for services at 1-800-704-0900. For the Mobile Crisis team, select option 2
  • Suicide and Crisis Hotline - 1-855-278-4204 or text RENEW to 741741 to speak confidentially with a crisis counselor
  • Bill Wilson Center has three dedicated Crisis Hotlines: 408-850-6125, Youth Crisis Hotline 408-278-2585, and Grief Counseling Support 408-278-2512
  • 2-1-1 Information and Referral Services. Dial 2-1-1 for access to health and human services such as mental health counseling. It is a free non-emergency, confidential service that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is available in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Tagalog, Mandarin, and 140 other languages.


For family assistance, Santa Clara County has shared the following about the Family Assistance Center:

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The Santa Clara County DA Office's Victim Services Unit, the American Red Cross and the County's Behavioral Health Services have opened a Family Assistance Center at Rucker Elementary School, 325 Santa Clara Ave., Gilroy, CA 95020.

In a release, the county explained, "Services to be provided at this location include grief counseling and emotional support; assistance filing claims for state funds for payment of medical bills, counseling bills, and other assistance for victims and their families, and referrals to agencies and providers for medical, counseling, and other services. Free childcare will be provided on site."

The hours are as follows:

  • Thursday, August 1, 2019, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Friday, August 2, 2019, 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.
  • Saturday, August 3, 2019, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • Sunday, August 4, 2019, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


The Victim Services Unit San Jose office is available for walk-ins, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 70 W. Hedding St., West Wing, San Jose. Please contact the Family Assistance Center at 408-209-8356 for additional information. Information about the Family Assistance Center in Gilroy: http://bit.ly/32ZO3jC

Support and counseling services are available throughout the week for families and individuals of all ages at Christopher High School at the following days and times:

  • Thursday, August 1, 2019: 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.
  • Friday, August 2, 2019: 9 a.m.- 8 p.m.


Additional resources: Individuals can also contact Community Solutions 24-Hour Crisis Hotline at 408-683-4118 or the Rebekah Children's Services main line at 408-846-2100.

Additional support services will be available in the following weeks and information will be posted on Community Solutions' and RCS' Facebook pages at: https://www.facebook.com/CommunitySolutions and https://www.facebook.com/rcskids.

"Our community has demonstrated tremendous fortitude during this horrific event. We'd like to thank all first responders for their exemplary response, including the Gilroy Police Department, local firefighters and law enforcement, EMS, our County health system physicians, nurses, medical personnel, County staff, public information officers, emergency management staff, volunteers and community members," the county's release stated.

Get the latest on the deadly Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting here.
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