NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Mental health has once again come to the forefront of conversations surrounding violence and mass shootings after 19 children and two adults were killed at a Texas elementary school. Beth Walser, Clinical Director of Volunteer Behavioral Health, joins Nickelle Smith in the News 2 studio with more information from a mental health expert.

As a mental health professional, Walser says after a mass tragedy such as the recent Texas elementary school shooting, her first reaction is how the recent incident will impact those around us. 

“There are thoughts of feeling anxious like how is this going to impact my client, how is it going to impact the culture around us, so just a lot of anxiety and some despair possibly,” said Walser, “Even as a mom with somebody in elementary school I was feeling hopeless in that moment even though I’m a mental health professional I still had those feelings as well.” 

Walser says the Tennessee Behavioral Health Safety Net is a great tool to access during times of despair at no cost. 

“It provides therapy services, case management, and even medication management for those who do not have insurance in Tennessee so you can be aged three and up and receive those services,” said Walser. 

To learn more about Tennessee Behavioral Health Safety Net watch the entire interview above.

If you or a loved one needs help with mental health issues you can contact Tennessee’s Crisis Hotline. It’s available 24 hours a day every day of the year and is free. All calls are routed to a trained crisis counselor in your area who will give guidance and connect you to community support.