JCPS counselors help Marshall County students and staff

Updated: Feb. 6, 2018 at 8:16 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Two weeks after a mass school shooting that left two students dead and nearly two dozen students injured in Marshall County, Jefferson County Public School counselors are still on hand to help students,staff, and faculty cope with the horrifying moments of that day.

Around 400 mental health professionals within the district are trained in crisis work. JCPS lead psychologist Dr. Joe Bargione manages the crisis response team.

"It's really amazing to see the school community start the healing process," Dr. Bargione said.

By the end of the week, 22 counselors will have responded to Marshall County. It's the largest response the team has provided outside of Jefferson County.

"I was there in the initial phases and the community really came together," Dr. Bargione said. "That's really nice to see that even though it's a really small community everybody really cares about the kids and the staff."

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Dr. Bargione worked one-on-one with Marshall County faculty members to address their top concern.

"If they were close to the event, could I have done something more? So, we just try to emphasize to them in that situation. You probably did everything you could and so we just do what we try to do for students and normalize their feelings," Dr. Bargione said.

Normalizing their feelings can sometimes take a toll on the crisis team.

"It's almost like you're a sponge so you take in all of these events and emotional responses and then you have to process it yourself," Dr. Bargione said.

Dr. Bargione says he encourages the team to take care of themselves and to rely on each other and their families for support.

"That community will come through this but it will take some time," Dr. Bargione.

Moving forward, the JCPS team will be in Marshall County as long as they're needed.

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