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Chardon/Colorado connection: A shared pain

6:21 PM, Jul 20, 2012   |    comments
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CHARDON -- It's been an emotionally difficult week for some teenagers and residents in Chardon.

The community is in the midst of healing from the February school shootings that left three students dead.

And the outburst of deadly violence in a Colorado movie theater is adding to painful memories.

It began with Tuesday's murder/suicide at a Chardon car repair shop involving a divorcing couple.

"The sirens, the helicoptors, were the sounds they heard on February 27th...It just sends chills down your spine," said Kimm Leininger, of the Chardon Healing Fund.

"I know two our kids were traumatized," said Dr. Bob Faehnle, Leadership Geauga and a former Chardon High School principal.

And the Colorado shootings activate memories that are never very far away.

"There's many things going on here...This is just more fuel on the fire," Faehnle said.

Fanley and Leininger both think many in Chardon can relate to what's happening in Colorado.

"These things don't happen in a vacuum...particularly when it happened to you," Faehnle said.

Leininger said, "Our hearts go out to that community...Once the media goes away from there, just as it left Chardon, it does not mean things are better or back to normal. There's a new normal. I'm not sure we've figured out what that is."

Leininger said the community is bringing in experts to help craft long-range plans deal with ongoing emotional issues.

Chardon schools reopen August 23, just four days before what will be the 6-month memorial of the shootings.

Mental health professionals remind us that incidents like the Colorado shootings trigger flashbacks for those suffering post-traumatic stress.

Ravenwood, a private mental health facility in Chardon, is treating up to 40 people for issues directly stemming from the February shootings.

And it's treating hundreds more with related problems.

WKYC-TV

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