Highwood library offers mental health resources for immigrants impacted by shooting

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Wednesday, July 20, 2022
More help is being made available at Highwood Public Library, specifically for the immigrant community left reeling from the July 4th parade shooting.

HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- Organizations are joining forces to make it easier for immigrants in the community who were affected by the Highland Park parade shooting to seek help.

"We want to have this conversation to make sure that they feel safe," said Carmen Patlan, executive director at Highwood Public Library. "It feels like yesterday."

At first glance, normalcy seems to have returned to Central Avenue in Highland Park. But if you look closer, the pain and the heartbreak still linger in plain sight.

"We have a health equity program where we provide mental health services," Patlan said. "In the last two weeks, we've seen 460 people coming through our doors."

Now, more help is being made available, specifically for the immigrant community left reeling from the lasting trauma of what happened on July 4th.

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"Collectively, we have experienced a traumatic event that will impact us all," Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering said.

Several Latino community leaders from Highland Park and Highwood came together Monday to speak about the many resources and mental health services available at the Highwood Public Library.

"They don't need to be afraid to come out and ask for help," Patlan said. "We have heard and witnessed many families who were victims during this horrible event that have not sought out services because they don't have immigration status."

While it's been two weeks since the tragic shooting, the pain will be hard to shed as moving forward will take a village to accomplish.

"Together we will work towards making this space as safe as it can be," Patlan said.

Those resources will be available at the Highwood Public Library during normal business hours for the foreseeable future.