Heart 2 Heart Strong
is a video series to provide support when healing from grief or tragedy. Included are short videos with clergy, counselors, and other healers including a therapy dog trainer. We hope you will share this information widely because it applies to healing from all types of grief, tragedy, and loss, whatever the cause; be it a natural disaster, an accident, a shooting, or terrorism. We hope that it provides some comfort and encouragement.

Heart 2 Heart Strong is dedicated to the memory of Casey Marquez and Paco Fernandez, victims of the Aztec High School shooting, December 7, 2017.

Olive Holmes, Clinical Social Worker with Axis Health Systems in Durango, CO
Highlights: Olive describes traumatic events and how they can impact those who experience them, witness them, and the secondary trauma of loved ones and the community. She discusses the differences between people who process internally or externally and how to be sensitive to these differences. She discusses that it is important for both individuals and communities to create a coherent story of what happened and what it means going forward. It is an opportunity to discover values and how they are in alignment with our actions.
970 259-5245 or 970 259-2162

Cammie LePlatt, Transition Coordinator for Aztec High School, MA in Counseling, Life Coach

Highlights:  Cammie describes “The Den” which is the student lounge created in the classrooms where a lot of the shooting occurred.  She has located her office in the Den and discusses how students are using the space to begin to move forward from the trauma and to define themselves in the wake of the tragedy.  She remarks that the shooting is a defining moment and that we can choose to learn positive lessons and strength.  Cammie also discusses safety as a verb, as in “to be safed” or “safing” someone.  She concludes by discussing some of the courageous and compassionate actions that students are taking.

Kati Bauchman, Licensed Professional Counselor Certified in Grief, Loss, and Trauma
Highlights: Grief is part of the human journey and experience that we are all born to do. Kati believes in people’s ability to find their way through grief and that we are not supposed to be alone through the process. We need to be witnessed and cared for; in that way we heal and feel more empowered. Grief is an opportunity to wake up and to realize and live more of our true essence and to know greater depths of kindness and appreciation.
970 759-9981

Heart 2 Heart Strong Highlights

Below are summaries of the videos you can find on YouTube or Facebook.  We hope that they provide comfort, encouragement, and support.

Johnathan Dobbs, Minister
Highlights: Just be together. Sit with each other. You don’t have to solve problems or try to talk. There is power and healing in being present to each other during times of pain and loss.
Aztec Church of Christ: 505- 334- 6626

Kelly Anglin, Marriage and Family Therapist

Highlights: This tragedy is so much bigger than what is happening immediately. The families who lost their sons and daughter and the students who lost one of their classmates will slowly begin their lives again. It is a process to figure out how to work and study again. Ongoing encouragement is needed. Continue to text and call the families. Continue to bring food. Continue to talk about those lost; they will live on in our memories and hearts while we find new ways to move forward.
Kelly Anglin, Marriage and Family Therapist, 505 215 3629

Tod Smith, Chaplain, San Juan Regional Medical Center
Highlights: Tragedy changes people and communities. You will not be the same, there is a shift in who you are. Everyone handles grief differently and we don’t have the vocabulary to discuss it, or disappointment, or shame. Grief is contagious and you can absorb the grief of other, you may feel heavy or weary because of what is going on around you. Suggestions on what you can do: grief can be a lonely process so resist isolating yourself; seek help from counselors or clergy, engage in what has meaning for you, engage with others like visiting with another family or going to church.
Tod Smith, Chaplain, 505-609-6072

Marla Sipes, Volunteer Coordinator San Juan Regional Medical Center Animal Assisted Therapy
Highlights: Therapy dogs provide comfort and relief. Marla Sipes and other volunteers took 5 therapy dogs to the Aztec community and schools for several weeks. The dogs have been instrumental in beginning the healing process; they are nonjudgmental and don’t talk, they provide comfort and help people to begin to express their emotions so healing can begin.
Pet Pals 505 634-0224, 505-486-4231

Tammy Ochoa-Billings, Out Patient Clinical Social Worker, San Juan Health Partners                                       Highlights:  It’s important to know who makes up your support system “tool kit.”  Those people may include a large range of individuals like relatives, neighbors, friends, club members, church members, bosses, coworkers, or staff at school.  It’s often difficult to take the first step when you need help, and you can get support for that step.  Keeping engaged in activities you enjoy is important; it can help to remember why you enjoy the activity or group to motivate yourself to participate even if you feel like it.                                505 609-2038