Grief counselors helping community cope with abduction and death of Jessica Ridgeway

WESTMINSTER, Colo. - Grief counselors were on hand Thursday through Saturday for anyone in the community to talk to them about the death of 10 year old Jessica Ridgeway.

Counselors offered by Jefferson Center for Mental Health said a steady stream of people have stopped by since they opened. Director of Access and Emergency Services Tom Olbrich said it’s natural for people to feel a gamut of emotions.

"Everyone is going to react differently at different times and it's going to be an emotional rollercoaster," said Olbrich. "Whatever people are feeling, whether fear, sadness, worrying, anger, it's OK."

As Westminster police and the FBI continue to ask the community to be vigilant, Olbrich said many people are feeling a sense of fear.

"I think one of the hardest things is that it leaves us all feeling kind of helpless. Fear can immobilize people, so I think it's important for people to empower themselves and take steps to ensure their own safety," Olbrich said.

He said parents need to talk to their children about what happened but don’t go into detail. He said reassurance of their safety is key.

"I think something as simple as a bad person hurt Jessica and we're all very sad, but we're safe and we're going to protect you so you don’t have to be scared," Olbrich said.
 

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