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Hillsborough NAACP gets safety briefing following Buffalo mass shooting

Buffalo Supermarket Shooting
Posted at 10:14 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-17 06:17:13-04

TAMPA, Fla — The FBI and U.S. Department of Homeland Security held a safety briefing Monday, to talk to the Hillsborough County NAACP.

"They also talked about security measures and being aware of your surroundings, what's going on, if it doesn't feel right don't do it," chapter President Yvette Lewis said.

Lewis told ABC Action News that it was a sobering, but necessary conversation, following a deadly mass shooting in Buffalo, NY, that officials say was fueled by racism.

"Someone taught this man, this young man, to hate," she said.

And Lewis said as the local Black community discusses safety, they're also grieving the loss of lives and a sense of security.

"Those people didn't do anything wrong," she said. "They just went to go buy some groceries."

Florida Gulf Coast University professor and counseling expert Dr. Abbe Finn said those feelings are normal.

"If we don't feel safe and protected then it's very difficult to be mentally healthy and upbeat," she said.

She added in the coming days if you're struggling you should connect with loved ones, limit your intake of heavy news and do things you enjoy.

"Go out and get a swim, read a book, listen to the music," Finn said. "You know, when I talk to my clients, I always ask them this question of 'What do you do to nurture your soul?'"

Finn said there also comes a point when it's important to speak to a professional.

"When it's a recurrent thought that's going over, over and over in your head and you're not able to break that cycle," she said. "It's like the video just keeps running. If it's interfering with your activities of daily living and your responsibilities. If it's causing you to feel depressed and you're having thoughts if harming yourself or someone else then it's definitely time."

If you're looking for professional mental health resources, check out one of the following resources below: