Posts Tagged Las Vegas

Resilience in Vegas

This week I was in Vegas for a client’s open enrollment. This trip had been scheduled weeks before the mass shooting and I was quite looking forward to the trip between getting to see our clients in the Vegas area and enjoying some great food, there is nowhere else in the world quite like Vegas. However, as I was preparing to leave and heard the news of the shooting, it completely shifted my focus to how I personally could support our clients and the city while I was down there. I had no idea what the atmosphere would be like when I arrived but I should have guessed that Vegas would pull together and support each other through this tragedy.

The emotions down there ranged from solemn, to anger, to anxiety over the unknown, to great sadness. You could feel people reaching out for support, talking about the incident, and wanting to encourage each other. The word resilience, solidarity, and strength constantly popped in my mind as I walked the streets and talked to locals. The police were out in full support, talking to tourists and locals alike, on the sidewalks, on the streets, and in venues. It was amazing to me to see the police force stand together and willingly work overtime so that the rest of the community could feel supported and protected. Everyone I talked to, both locals and tourists, were appreciative of the support and attentiveness of the police and other first responders. Words cannot express the gratitude I heard and felt towards those who gave up vacations, wedding anniversary plans, and sleep in order to help their city. You could not go 10 feet without seeing the now trending hashtag #VegasStrong, or seeing advertisements for free counseling and other support services. ( Venues, superstars, locals, and workplaces could all be seen working together, offering help with what they could.

As I talked to various locals about the experience, it was clear that though this act would be etched in their minds for a long time, the sense of unity and connectedness was firmly stated. During my stay, the names of the victims had not been released yet, which made many people unsure if they knew someone among the injured or dead. Parents expressed concern over their children’s’ friends who did not show up for school on Monday.

The biggest question on everyone’s mind was “why?” Unfortunately, this still has not been explained. Even now, the FBI and local first responders continue to pick through evidence, review what happened, and decipher the reasoning behind this shooting. I am very grateful for their efforts and the opportunity to experience the camaraderie amongst those that I talked to and helped while I was there.  There is not enough “thank yous” and praise to go around to all those who have stepped up to help, support, and give services. I am very proud to work for an organization and with affiliates who stepped up to provide process groups and counseling to employees, family members, and household members who were affected by this tragedy. Through quick responses and taking time away from other responsibilities, MINES and its affiliates have set up groups to go through the different stages of grief, PTSD, and how to help those who are struggling with this event. It was a great privilege to see this happen first hand while I was in town.

The United States has faced many tragedies in the last several years, both from man and nature. However, in each city that something has happened, it has brought the city together and made the city stronger, better, and full of community support. New programs come out of tragedy and new support systems are created. I am optimistic that the same will happen with Vegas. I look forward to traveling back there and seeing how the community has come together after this event and how they are stronger overall. I want to encourage any of you who knew someone who was at the concert or lives in Vegas to seek out counseling support to help you work through this horrific event and the aftermath that is to follow. And as always, MINES is here to support you and your companies if you need it. Please feel free to outreach us at 1-800-873-7138 if there is anything we can do.


To Your Wellbeing,

Raena Chatwin

The MINES Team








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Assuming the Role of Caregiver



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Assuming the Role of Caregiver
November 7, 2011

This past weekend I flew to surprise my best friend for her 30th birthday. It seemed fitting that on the plane ride there I sat next to two women in their sixties who were best friends. They were both precious, finishing each other’s sentences, as they talked about the trip they were flying back from. They had both just been in Vegas together, seeing all the sights and giggling that they regretfully didn’t go see “Thunder Down Under.” As usual, I was so curious to know all about them. How did they become such great friends? Where are they originally from? Why Vegas?

After I asked a few questions, the conversation seemed to spiral into all parts of their lives. Ruth had 3 children, 6 grandsons, and not one granddaughter. She’s hoping to have a great-grandchild soon and crosses her fingers it’s a girl. Mary was never married and never had children but is really close with her 83 year-old mother who is “sharp as a tack.” They both live in Florida; Mary moved there to take care of her father who was ill and recently passed away. A strong sense of pride echoed in her voice as she discussed moving into the independent living facility to be closer to her mother. She wanted to make sure she didn’t fall, remembered to take her medicine and helped her drive around. Mary rolled her eyes as she talked about her mother throwing tantrums because she can’t drive anymore. Just as I am sure her mother rolled her eyes at her daughter’s tantrums years ago.

I often think ahead to the days when I will take care of the people who took care of me for so many years. My sibling are so much younger than I am so I have always felt like it was my responsibility; which led me to my final question. It seemed like Mary didn’t have any help from anyone so I asked, “Do you have any brothers or sisters?” “I do, a brother, he lives in California so he can’t help out much. But he bought my ticket to Vegas!” I guess there’s no place like Vegas to reward your sister for all of her loving caretaking!

Read more on this topic here…
Britney Kirsch
Account Manager

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