HENDRICKS COUNTY, Ind. — When shots rang out inside the Greenwood Park Mall nearly a week ago, Erin Coram said the wait was torture.
“Definitely the most terrifying, I think it was about 20 minutes of my life,” she said.
Her son, Brady, and his girlfriend were among those inside the mall, texting updates as they hid inside a store. While the couple is physically ok, Coram, who’s also a licensed marriage and family therapist, said the emotional scars have yet to heal.
She and her wife were in Bloomington when the shooting happened but quickly rushed home to be there for support.
“We spent time consoling them, letting them tell their story, letting them say what they needed to say,” she said, “and as more and more details came out, the scarier it became.”
Posting about what happened on Facebook, Coram said she received overwhelming support, including from colleagues who offered services to help the couple.
“I actually met with a really awesome therapist two days ago, out of Colorado that I know very well,” she said. “She’s a trauma therapist and she said ‘hey, I think you need some time’.”
It was shortly after that Coram said she realized it was more than just herself and loved ones needing help processing what happened.
“Brady said he was in the back with 40 plus people,” she said. “Little kids, parents, young, old, a little kid that had a Build-A-Bear he had just gotten with his mom. These people all went through a horrific event and they need services.”
Through social media, Coram connected with other colleagues and experts. Together, they formed a referral network specifically for those impacted by the Greenwood Park Mall shooting.
“We have a commitment from this group that I’ve put together, as it continues to grow, that they will get you in and some of them are willing to do some pro bono work. Some of them are willing to do reduced fee,” she said.
Coram said the list is now live online and will be updated accordingly. Right now, more than 15 providers have joined the list, including Voyage Counseling at the Mull House, which Coram co-owns in Brownsburg.
The network offers a variety of services related to addressing trauma, like brainspotting and EMDR.
The goal is to help connect people to services before their trauma creates more devastating effects, such as PTSD. The guaranteed access to resources and providers comes as the need for mental health services is already skyrocketing and has created difficulties in finding professional and affordable help.
Coram said offering the referral network is one way they can play a role in helping the community heal.
“The world has been through a lot, but we’ve got to make space for people,” she said, “help heal people, help people heal themselves so that we don’t continue down this road of hurt people doing things that hurt more people.”
Coram said she urges others to support those impacted by Sunday’s shooting by just being there, listening and encouraging them to talk through their experiences. She also plans to continue offering the Greenwood Park Mall Referral Network for as long as it’s needed, as some people may feel open to seeking services later down the road.
Coram recalled experiencing the Indiana State Fair stage collapse in 2011, and while she felt ok then, it ultimately caught up with her.
“At some point, let’s say six months down the road, that hit me,” she said. “I think part of the trigger for me was going to another outdoor concert. It happened to be stormy weather that day and it hit me. This may hit someone later, and it’s ok to reach out then too.”
If you are needing help or are looking to add your services to the referral network, you can contact Coram directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office at (317) 852-6603.